Jonathan Aranda was quiet at the plate during his first couple of weeks at the Class A Short Season level, but in his playoff debut, he couldn't be ignored.
The Rays prospect went 4-for-4 with a triple, double and a pair of RBIs on Wednesday as Hudson Valley beat Auburn, 11-5, in the opener of their best-of-3 New York-Penn League semifinal series.
Gameday box score
"He's been a good player for us since he's been up here with us," Renegades manager Blake Butera said. "Maybe the numbers don't exactly show that for the short period that he's been here, but it was good to see him tonight have good at-bats. It all starts with confidence, and he had confidence tonight."
Aranda singled to center field in the second inning to kick off his second career four-hit game. He helped spark a two-run fourth by tripling to right and added an RBI infield single in the fifth. The 20-year-old, who batted .200 in nine regular-season games with the Renegades, drove an RBI double to left in the sixth for his first four-hit contest since Aug. 5, 2016 in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League.
"He has a good mind-set and a good mentality," Butera said. "He's a mature kid that kind of knows what he's doing and has a good feel for the game. It was good to see him put together good at-bats tonight and play well and help our team win."
Hudson Valley starter Nicholas Padilla bent but didn't break over 4 1/3 innings, allowing four runs -- two earned -- on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
"Nick Padilla did a really nice job for us on the mound, throwing strikes, competing," the manager said. "They were pretty aggressive, which is something we saw early. Nick had to make adjustments, and I gave him credit for being able to do that. Offensively, we had a really nice night with several guys in our lineup having multi-hit games. Aranda had four hits, [Michael] Smith and [Ford] Proctor had three, [Jacson] McGowan drove in three runs. It's nice to see."
Auburn starter Luis Reyes surrendered seven runs on 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings. Jacob Rhinesmith went yard with a first-inning solo shot in the loss. Game 2 is Thursday in Hudson Valley.
"Just the same thing," Butera said of his team's mind-set. "Game 1 is so big for us and, obviously, it's nice to get off on the right foot, but like I said, we still have to take care of business going back home for Game 2. We'll just continue to play the way we played tonight, keep your head down and play hard.
"We're extremely excited to get back home and play in front of our home fans who have been so great for us all year long. The energy they bring and have all season long, it's something we really look forward to once we get back to [Dutchess Stadium]."
In other NY-Penn League playoff action
ValleyCats 9, Scrappers 6
Leadoff man Carlos Machado doubled, singled and drove in two runs to lead Tri-City to a series-opening win at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium. Logan Mattix also contributed two hits and two RBIs, while right-hander Brett Conine allowed one hit and two runs -- one earned -- over five innings on the way to the victory. Ruben Cardenas smacked a two-run homer and fell a triple shy of the cycle for Mahoning Valley, which hosts Game 2 on Thursday. Gameday box score