Winker fuels Blaze's rout with six RBIs

Reds' No. 3 prospect slugs two homers, reaches base five times

Jesse Winker is among the Cal League leaders in batting, on-base and slugging percentage. (Ricky Bassman/

By Josh Jackson / | June 12, 2014 2:58 AM ET

After a day of rest on Monday and a California League off-day on Tuesday, Jesse Winker was clearly ready to play some ball.

"Your body just feels refreshed after a couple days off," he said. "I came in with the same approach I always have, to compete up at the plate."

The Reds' third-ranked prospect went 3-for-3 with a pair of homers, six RBIs, four runs scored, two walks and a stolen base on Wednesday night to power Class A Advanced Bakersfield to a 19-6 romp over visiting Modesto.

Oh, he also had an outfield assist.

"That was a very fun game to be a part of. We came out and swung the bats very well," Winker said. "Everybody in the lineup put together good at-bats and our picthing, especially our starting pitcher, Drew Cisco, did a really good job."

The six RBIs match the career high he established on April 5, also against the Nuts. Wednesday was his fifth game this year with at least four RBIs, and he also had a two-homer game on June 2 at High Desert.

Winker's first dinger of the night came in the bottom of the first and gave the Blaze a 2-1 lead, answering the first of No. 4 Rockies prospect Rosell Herrera's two homers for Modesto.

"We've been very good at that all year, answering teams when they score," the 19-year-old left fielder said. "It gets the momentum back on our side. And when the balls go over, of course you get excited about that."

Selected in the first round of the 2012 Draft, Winker walked in the third and smacked an RBI single in Bakersfield's six-run fifth.

"In the Cal League, you can never really have a lead too safe. We just wanted to put up as many runs as we can put up every inning," he said. "The whole team was putting together really good at-bats, and our philosophy is to always try to score every inning."

After another walk in the sixth, he belted a three-run homer in the seventh. It didn't immediately register than he'd knocked in six runs.

"I just put a good swing on it and it got up and out," he said. "After that, I wasn't thinking a whole lot. I was just ready to go back out and play defense."

He did that. In the eighth, Will Swanner drove a ball to the gap in left-center field. Winker fielded it off the wall and fired to second to nail the Rockies' 19th-ranked prospect.

"We've been practicing all year on that because our walls are high in the gaps," Winker said. "I knew had a shot and I made the best throw I can make. It was really cool that we got him out."

Blaze cleanup hitter Marquez Smith matched Winker with a pair of homers and six RBIs.

"He's a very good hitter, a very, very smart hitter. He's kind of our team leader, just a great teammate to talk to," Winker said. "Hitting right in the middle, he's always driving in runs for us. He's had a lot of great games for us. It's really cool to have a teammate like that."

Herrera's homers were his first two of the season after spending five weeks on the disabled list with a wrist injury.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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