Having been on the disabled list and out of the Class A Advanced Wilmington lineup for more than a month, Emmanuel Rivera did his best to make up for lost time on Saturday.
The Royals' 10th-ranked prospect matched a career best with four hits and drove in three runs as the Blue Rocks topped Lynchburg, 9-7, in 13 innings at Calvin Falwell Field. He notched two doubles as part of his sixth career four hits game and second this season.
Gameday box score
Before landing on the shelf at the end of May, Rivera was hitting .254/.302/.384 with three homers and 29 RBIs in 45 games in his second full professional season. After spending nearly a month on the DL, the Puerto Rico native began a rehab assignment in the Rookie-level Arizona League, where he batted .192 in seven games.
Rivera was activated Friday and penciled into the fifth spot in the lineup on Saturday, grounding out to second in his first at-bat in the second inning. But in the fourth, the third baseman smoked a 2-1 offering from Tanner Tully into right field for a two-out double.
Following a leadoff walk to Royals No. 21 prospect Gabriel Cancel in the sixth, Rivera went to the opposite field again and collected an RBI double. He added a single to right in the eighth before delivering in a key spot in the 10th. With Cancel placed on second to begin extra innings, Rivera smoked another hit to right to put the Blue Rocks ahead, 4-3.
After the teams traded runs in the 10th and 11th, Rivera stepped in with runners on the corners and one down in the 12th and came through again. He poked a grounder to second, good enough to give Wilmington a 6-5 lead.
With the game tied at 7-7 in the 13th, the Blue Rocks went ahead for good on D.J. Burt's two-out, two-run single. Tyler Zuber struck out the final two hitters in the bottom half to earn his second save.