Before Major League rosters expanded to 40 players on Saturday, Victor Robles was a prime candidate to join the big club in Washington.
But the Nationals opted not to immediately return their top prospect to the fold for the final month of the season. And that's bad news for the International League.
Video: Robles triples on four-hit night for Syracuse
On Saturday, Robles recorded his second four-hit game in two weeks to lead Triple-A Syracuse to a 6-1 triumph over Buffalo at NBT Bank Stadium. MLB.com's No. 5 overall prospect outshined a three-hit performance by baseball's top prospect, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., with a triple and a run scored.
The 21-year-old compiled four singles against Columbus on Aug. 19 to break out of a 2-for-29 slump. He's 16-for-53 (.302) in 12 contests since, with Saturday's performance extending his hitting streak to six games. The surge helped him put up a .234/.315/.324 slash line in 28 games in August.
Signed for $225,000 out of the Dominican Republic as a 16-year-old in 2013, Robles made his Major League debut last September and figured to be part of the team's plans this season until an elbow injury in April kept him sidelined for nearly three months. He returned to the Syracuse lineup on July 27 after rehab stints in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and Class A Short Season New York-Penn League.
Gameday box score
In 38 total games with the Chiefs, Robles is batting .272/.349/.377 with two homers, eight doubles, 10 RBIs, 12 stolen bases and 23 runs scored.
He laid down a bunt single to lead off Saturday night's game, beating a throw from Buffalo starter Zach Stewart before scoring on No. 26 Nationals prospect Jose Marmolejos' two-run hit to left. After bouncing to shortstop in the second inning, Robles lofted another single to left with two outs in the fourth.
The 6-foot, 190-pound center fielder jumped on the first pitch from reliever Luis Santos in the sixth and smacked his first triple of the season to left. Robles broke for home as Matt Reynolds followed with a hard grounder to Guerrero at third but was thrown out at the plate.
Robles rounded out his evening by grooving a base hit to right in the eighth before being erased on a double play.
Yadiel Hernandez had two hits for Syracuse, including a two-run homer in a four-run first, his 11th in the International League this season.
Guerrero boosted his Triple-A slash line to .343/.425/.549 after collecting three singles. Overall, the top Blue Jays prospect is hitting .384. No. 5 Blue Jays prospect Anthony Alford and 29th-ranked Rowdy Tellez both singled twice for Buffalo.