Urshela homers on four-hit night

Indians prospect thriving while facing new challenges

Giovanny Urshela is 13-for-33 during an eight-game hitting streak. (Ashley Marshall/MiLB.com)

By Ashley Marshall / Special to MLB.com | June 5, 2013 8:15 PM ET

Giovanny Urshela is following the familiar career path of many non-drafted international free agents -- prove yourself at one level over the course on an entire season, then advance.

One year. One level.

Now competing at his fifth level in five years, he hopes to continue his steady progression through Cleveland's Minor League system.

The Indians' No. 20 prospect went 4-for-5 with a two-run homer, a pair of doubles and four runs scored Wednesday night, leading Double-A Akron to an 11-2 victory over visiting New Hampshire.

"I'm working to get better every year, every day," Urshela said. "I think that [in the Eastern League] we have good players and pitchers with more experience and we also play with big leaguers, too. I'm starting to feel more comfortable hitting here now."

After reaching on a fielder's choice in the second inning, the 21-year-old third baseman singled to center field in the fourth and doubled to left field leading off the sixth. He pulled another double down the left-field line an inning later before capping his first four-hit game of the season with a two-run homer to left in the eighth.

"It was a 2-1 count and the pitcher threw me a curveball in the middle and I swung at it," said Urshela, a native of Colombia. "I put a good swing on it. You have to put a good swing on it at this stadium.

"I am working hard to stay in the same position when I have my swing. Leaving the ball out of the zone will help me."

Before Wednesday, Urshela had not collected more than two hits in any of his previous 49 Double-A contests. He recorded a four-hit game for Class A Advanced Carolina on April 25 2012 and went 4-for-6 with a career-high six RBIs in a 22-17 loss in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League on June 8, 2009.

"This one was a really good game," Urshela said. "Last year in Carolina, I was 4-for-4 in one game and I had two home runs in another game. I was thinking just to make a good swing in the strike zone and hit the ball hard.

"It has been a really good season. I am improving my play in the field and I think it is going to be better and better."

Carlos Moncrief was 3-for-4 with a walk, three RBIs and two runs scored for the Aeros, while Venezuela native Jesus Aguilar and leadoff man Jose Ramirez -- a native of the Dominican Republic -- each chipped in a pair of hits.

"It is fun. We play with teammates from everywhere in the world," Urshela said. "We all have a good relationship with each other and we have a good relationship with the American players, too. I feel good where I am right now. Everyone says, 'Hi' and 'Good job,' and that makes me happy and I want to do a good job."

Akron starter Matt Packer (3-5) allowed two runs on eight hits over six innings for the win and C.C. Lee and Enosil Tejada combined for three innings of perfect relief.

New Hampshire's Marcus Walden (4-6) yielded three runs on six hits, four walks and two wild pitches while striking out one batter over six innings.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AshMarshallMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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