Things haven't gone as smoothly for Brendan Rodgers at Double-A Hartford at the plate as they did in the California League, but the top Rockies prospect put together a performance Thursday that was reminiscent of his dominance at Class A Advanced Lancaster.
Rodgers bashed a two-run homer -- his first in the Eastern League -- and fell a triple shy of the cycle in the Yard Goats' 3-2 loss to the Baysox at Prince George's Stadium. It marked the 13th game this season and second with Hartford in which the 20-year-old collected at least three hits.
"I feel like I'm putting together good at bats," Rodgers said. "Just hitting the ball right at people and stuff like that, but I mean I feel good, I feel comfortable."
Video: Hartford's Rodgers rips first Double-A homer
The outburst came at the right time for MLB.com's 10th overall prospect, who went 0-for-9 in a doubleheader Wednesday.
"We just kind of showed up and I flushed yesterday. Wasn't in the back of my head at all," Rodgers said. "I was just trying to focus on the day and start off the game good."
Entering Thursday night, the Florida native had two hits in his previous 22 at-bats over six games to drop his Double-A average to .184. He hadn't recorded an extra-base hit in 13 previous contests since being promoted on June 22 after hitting .400/.419/.700 with 21 doubles, three triples and 12 homers in 48 games for the JetHawks.
Gameday box score
"Just the past couple games, I've been a little anxious, just getting out of my approach," Rodgers said. "Tonight, I was just focusing on relaxing. Just kind of being easy and not trying to jump and not trying do too much."
In the midst of his struggles, the third overall pick in the 2015 Draft left the first game of a twinbill with Portland on Saturday after being hit in the head by a pitch. He sat out the nightcap, but returned Sunday and started each of the next four games.
"I was a little rattled after. I mean obviously anybody that gets hit in the head is going to be," the shortstop said. "They're not going to feel great maybe the next game or two."
Rodgers, whose splits show he favors hitting against southpaws, took all four of his at-bats Thursday against left-handers. Despite his struggles, he is batting .364/.364/.545 with all five of his RBIs in 22 at-bats against lefties.
With one out in the opening inning against Bowie starter Tanner Scott, Rodgers knocked a double -- also his first on the circuit -- to the left-field corner.
"That first hit and that first at-bat, you kind have more confidence going into your next at-bats throughout the game," Rodgers said. "Obviously, your confidence boosts and I felt good the rest of the game."
After Josh Fuentes reached on a fielding error by first baseman Aderlin Rodriguez to lead off the third, reliever John Means left a first-pitch fastball up and over the plate and Rodgers drove it over the fence in left.
Means got Rodgers to go down swinging on six pitches to start the sixth. He got up against lefty Garrett Cleavinger with a runner on in the ninth and grounded a single to right.
"I felt like I put together good at-bats throughout the whole game," Rodgers said. "I felt confident, real confident, tonight and relaxed."
Garabez Rosa belted a three-run homer, his 10th of the season, and Austin Hays, the No. 7 Orioles prospect, singled twice and scored a run for Bowie.