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Kirk powers Jays with perfect night at plate

Sixth-ranked Jays prospect homers, doubles in first multi-hit game
Alejandro Kirk, who spent most of last season in the Florida State League, heads for home with the first of three runs. (Adrian Kraus/AP)
@brianjstultz
September 21, 2020

Alejandro Kirk hadn't played above Class A Advanced before he was brought up on Sept. 12. The sixth-ranked Toronto prospect had two hits in the Majors heading into Monday's game. By the end of the night, he had tripled that number. Kirk went a perfect 4-for-4 -- smacking a homer

Alejandro Kirk hadn't played above Class A Advanced before he was brought up on Sept. 12. The sixth-ranked Toronto prospect had two hits in the Majors heading into Monday's game. By the end of the night, he had tripled that number.

Kirk went a perfect 4-for-4 -- smacking a homer and a double with three runs scored as Toronto blasted the New York Yankees, 11-5, at Sahlen Field.

Kirk led off the bottom of the third inning with a sharp single to right field off Yankees No. 26 prospect Michael King. After advancing to second on a walk to Cavan Biggio, the 21-year-old scored on a single by Bo Bichette.

Leading off in the fourth, Kirk doubled to left on a 2-1 fastball from right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga, crossing the plate again on a single by Bichette. Leading off for the third straight inning in the fifth, the Mexico native slapped a fastball from righty Nick Nelson to right.

In the seventh, Kirk led off again. This time he swatted a 95-mph fastball off right-hander Chad Green over the right-field wall for his first Major League homer. After the game, Kirk said he wasn't expecting to see the heat again during the at-bat.

"I wasn’t looking for a particular pitch," Kirk told reporters. "It just happened it was the same pitch outside and I went with the pitch."

The four-hit night raised the catcher's average to .429 in 14 at-bats over six games.

"Definitely tonight was the best productive night I have had at the plate," Kirk said. "I was feeling so comfortable. I felt good. I don’t even know how to explain it. The satisfaction I felt, like you know when you make contact and sometimes you don’t even feel it when the ball hits the barrel."

Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo has been pleased with his backstop's all-around game and not just what he saw at the plate Monday.

“He’s done a great job receiving. I’m impressed with that,” Montoyo said. “Blocking balls too, he’s been really good. I’m impressed with his overall game, to tell you the truth.”

At two different levels of the Minors last season, Kirk hit .290 with 31 doubles, seven homers, one triple, 44 RBIs and 40 runs, earning a spot on MiLB.com's organizational All-Stars for the Blue Jays.

King (1-2) took the loss, allowing five runs on five hits and a walk while fanning six over 2 2/3 innings.

In other action:

Braves 5, Marlins 4

Huascar Ynoa staggered through a rough start before settling down. Atlanta’s No. 11 prospect allowed three runs on four singles and a walk in the first inning. The 22-year-old rebounded over his final two frames, giving up only a leadoff single in the second that was erased on a double play. Coming into the game with a three-run lead, Trevor Rogers was unable to make it hold up. The ninth-ranked Miami prospect surrendered four runs in the first and five overall in four frames. Rogers yielded eight hits and two walks while fanning six. No. 10 Monte Harrison was used as a pinch-runner, but did not bat. Box score

Nationals 5, Phillies 1

Mickey Moniak entered the game in the third and notched his second career hit, a walk and scored once. The No. 12 Philadelphia prospect has gone 2-for-11 with four walks in his first 15 plate appearances as a big leaguer. Luis Garcia was hitless in four at-bats, but plated a run with a groundout. The top Nationals prospect had hit safely in eight of his last nine games. Box score

Reds 6, Brewers 3

Drew Rasmussen had pitched well since his Major League debut on Aug. 19, but he struggled Monday night. Milwaukee’s 10th-ranked prospect retired two batters and got tagged for four runs on three hits – including two homers – and a walk while striking out two. No. 23 Tyrone Taylor grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and has two hits in his last 18 at-bats. Box score

Cubs 5, Pirates 0

Ke’Bryan Hayes singled twice in four at-bats, his second consecutive multi-hit effort and fifth of the season. The No. 2 Pittsburgh prospect is batting .323/.391/.597 with nine extra-base hits through 30 games. Tenth-ranked Jared Oliva struck out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth -- his first Major League at-bat. Box score

Rays 2, Mets 1

Josh Fleming ran his record to 4-0 after surrendering one run over three innings of relief. Tampa’s No. 28 prospect allowed three hits and a walk with two punchouts. Third-ranked Mets prospect Andres Gimenez popped out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth. Box score

Angels 8, Rangers 5

Third-ranked Rangers prospect Leody Taveras worked a walk to lead off the top of the third, stole second base and scored on a single by Nick Solak. Seventh-ranked Anderson Tejeda lined an RBI double to right in the second. No. 22 Demarcus Evans worked around two hits while fanning one in a scoreless frame. Box score

Indians 7, White Sox 4

No. 17 Cleveland prospect James Karinchak struck out two and walked one in a scoreless eighth to lower his ERA to 2.52. Third-ranked White Sox prospect Nick Madrigal singled to right in the second and to center in the ninth. Taking the bump to start the game, No. 7 Dane Dunning allowed four runs on six hits and a walk while striking out five over four frames. No. 26 Matt Foster gave up one hit and struck out one in a scoreless eighth. Box score

Royals 4, Cardinals 1

In the start, No. 11 Kansas City prospect Carlos Hernandez allowed one run on four hits and three walks while fanning four in 3 2/3 innings. Top Cardinals prospect Dylan Carlson went 0-for-3 while No. 27 Seth Elledge got the last out of the bottom of the eighth. Box score

Mariners 6, Astros 1

Seattle’s No. 20 prospect Joey Gerber gave up one run on two hits and fanned one in an inning of relief. No. 11 Houston prospect Brandon Bielak allowed two runs on three hits and a walk and struck out one in one frame while No. 12 Enoli Paredes retired the only batter he faced. Box score

Rockies 7, Giants 2

Josh Fuentes boosted his slash line to .352/.360/.507 after singling twice in five at-bats. Colorado’s 18th-ranked prospect drove in a run and scored during his second consecutive multi-hit performance and third in four games. Top Giants prospect Joey Bart was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. Box score

Brian Stultz is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @brianjstultz.