Williams drives in seven for Storm

Padres prospect falls double shy of cycle, ends slump

By Andrew Pentis / Special to MLB.com | June 8, 2012 10:25 PM ET

Everett Williams just needed a day off.

The Padres prospect drove in a career-high seven runs while collecting three hits and falling a double shy of the cycle Friday night in the Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore Storm's 11-1 road win over the Visalia Rawhide.

Batting second as the Storm's designated hitter after sitting out Thursday's game, Williams singled in the first inning, smacked a bases-loaded triple in the fourth and lifted a three-long homer in the sixth. All of the hits came off Rawhide right-hander Raymond Hernandez.

"I came in knowing I was swinging at the first pitch all day," he said. "[On the home run], I was guessing the first pitch, and he threw me a slider and a curveball. [The second pitch] he left a changeup up and I just made good, solid contact."

Williams, who primarily plays left field, flied out in the third and lifted a sacrifice fly in the eighth to complete his seven-RBI.

Of his sacrifice fly, a potential cycle-completing double, Williams said, "I was hoping. I was hoping [the ball] would get over [center fielder] Keon Broxton's head. I would have stopped at second, no matter what. My [third-base] coach was going to stop me at second, regardless."

Still, his night was memorable. The 2009 second-round Draft pick nearly doubled his career best for RBIs -- he'd driven in four runs twice before, most recently in an 8-1 win over Inland Empire on the fifth day of the season.

Williams said he had an eight-RBI game at McCallum High School in Austin, Texas, but this one trumped it, coming on the heels of a week-long struggle. The 21-year-old was mired in a 3-for-30 slump that spanned seven games.

"It's real sweet," he said. "You tell yourself to relax, to have that confidence when you struggle. When you're hot, you can hit home runs one day and strike out five times the next. This is a fresh breath of air."

Williams is batting .237 through 52 games. He hit .244 in his only other full season in the Minors -- at Class A Fort Wayne in 2010. He missed all but six games last year due to a hyperextended right knee and said he is not quite 100 percent healthy.

"The first month, I started off pretty good and then I hit a brick wall. I learned from that," he said. "I kept my attitude. This year is [about] learning the ups and down of the game and staying on the field."

Padres' No. 2 prospect Rymer Liriano, who homered in his last game, but singled and scored a run to extend his hitting streak to 10 games.

Hernandez (5-3) gave up 10 runs -- four earned -- on nine hits over six innings. He struck out eight for the second consecutive start.

Storm starter Donn Roach (10-1) allowed a run on six hits -- including Bobby Borchering's second-inning solo shot -- over five frames. He has three more wins than any other California League hurler and relied on his fastball movement on Friday, according to Williams.

Borchering, the D-backs' No. 11 prospect, has four homers in his last six games.

Andrew Pentis is a contributor to MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at AndrewMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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