Friedl capitalizes in Dragons' twinbill

Reds No. 16 prospect collects four hits, five RBIs in sweep

T.J. Friedl has gone 6-for-16 during a four-game hitting streak. (Dayton Dragons)

By Gerard Gilberto / | April 30, 2017 2:17 AM

T.J. Friedl has enjoyed the role of table-setter this season for Class A Dayton, but in two games against Great Lakes on Saturday night, the leadoff man became the beneficiary.

The Reds' 16th-ranked prospect totaled four hits, drove in five runs and scored twice as the Dragons swept a twinbill from the Loons. Friedl doubled twice and picked up three RBIs in a 9-0 victory in the opener, and recorded a two-run double and a single in a 5-0 win in the nightcap. 

Game 1 box score

Game 2 box score

"I've definitely had doubleheaders where I've been feeling good and had some knocks. I was feeling good, I was seeing the ball well," the 21-year-old said. "The RBIs were definitely great, but I was seeing the ball well. Guys are getting on base in front of me, and it just kind of worked out that way."

The three RBIs in the opener are a season high for the University of Nevada product, who hadn't driven in a run in nine straight games before Saturday's outburst. Friedl is hitting .375 in 32 at-bats with runners on base compared to .250 in 52 at-bats with the bases empty this season.

Video: T.J. Friedl's two-run double for Dayton

"It feels really good. It really helps both the club and the offense back up, especially getting the team back up," the Pennsylvania native said. "Everyone is kind of getting back in that groove and we're starting to win our games again and starting to do our part. It's definitely helping with the confidence and definitely building momentum."

In the opener, the center fielder had both of his doubles and all three RBIs during a seven-run third inning. Friedl led off with his first two-bagger off starter Leo Crawford and eventually scored on James Vasquez's bases-loaded walk.

The lefty came to the plate with the bases loaded in his second at-bat against reliever Vinny Santarsiero.

"I had two strikes and I saw just a hanging curveball up in the zone," Friedl said. "I just kind of stayed behind it and I got around it and hit it to right field. It ended up hitting off the wall in right, and it just felt good. I was just getting balance in my legs and I stayed behind it and kept my head down."

In the nightcap, Friedl picked up his first hit in the third, a leadoff single against starter Dustin May. He scored on a double by Vasquez to make it 1-0.

MiLB include

With Hector Vargas on second and Michael Beltre on first in the sixth, Friedl smacked the second pitch from Sven Schuller into the opposite-field gap to plate both runs.

"I wanted to make sure I jumped on the fastball early in the count. I have a lot of deep counts so I just started getting ready for the fastball early," Friedl said. "It felt good putting one in the left-center gap and going opposite field because that's when I know I'm feeling really good -- when I'm able to pepper that gap."

Friedl has hit safely in four straight games, raising his average to .298. 

Tyler Stephenson, the Reds' eighth-ranked prospect, doubled and scored twice in the first game.

Gerard Gilberto is a contributor to Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @GerardGilberto4. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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