Cole Sturgeon will always remember the way he ended the 2019 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.The Red Sox outfielder smacked a career-high three homers, including a two-run walk-off shot, while racking up a season-high four hits and four RBIs to lead his team over Lehigh Valley, 5-4, in 10 innings.
Cole Sturgeon will always remember the way he ended the 2019 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.
The Red Sox outfielder smacked a career-high three homers, including a two-run walk-off shot, while racking up a season-high four hits and four RBIs to lead his team over Lehigh Valley, 5-4, in 10 innings.
Batting in the leadoff spot, Sturgeon singled against Phillies No. 20 prospect Damon Jones in the first inning. After grounding out to second base in the third, the left-handed hitter clubbed a 3-1 pitch from Jones over the wall in right field in the fifth.
Facing right-hander JD Hammer in the eighth with the Red Sox down, 3-2, Sturgeon got the green light on a 3-0 pitch and smashed another dinger to right to tie the game.
The 27-year-old came to the plate in the 10th with his team trailing by one and down to the final out. On a 2-2 pitch by lefty Josh Tols, Sturgeon sent the fans home happy with a two-run shot to right.
Gameday box score
"We haven't been privy to too many [walk-off victories] this year, so it was a special moment and a perfect ending to the great day that he had," PawSox hitting coach Rich Gedman said. "You could tell he was happy with today. It was a heck of a day for him. It certainly sends everyone else off on a good note and allows him to be noticed. It was pretty special."
It was only the second multi-homer game of his career, the other coming June 3, 2018 at Durham. Sturgeon has eight career four-hit games, last achieved on May 2, 2018 for Double-A Portland against Trenton.
The 2014 10th-round pick out of the University of Louisville finished his sixth year in the Minors with a .277 average, 10 homers, two triples, 17 doubles, 40 runs scored, 39 RBIs and six stolen bases in 97 games.
"He did a nice job in his daily approach," Gedman said. "He made some adjustments during the course of the year, but basically he didn't change his swing every day. He stayed with what he believed in."
The Kentucky native has an extra card up his sleeve when it comes to the opportunity to make the Major Leagues. He can pitch when needed, appearing in four games and allowing four runs for the Red Sox this season.
"You always hope that guys that come through your organization get the opportunity in the bigs," Gedman said. "The thinking of it is, in this day and age with everyone being able to play multiple positions, wouldn't it be neat to have an extra pitcher or someone that you can use in the case of an emergency? It might just be another opportunity or window for him."
Right-hander Domingo Tapia (5-4) picked up the victory after allowing an unearned run on one hit and a strikeout in the 10th. Fifth-ranked Red Sox prospectTanner Houck gave up a run on two hits and a walk with three whiffs in 2 2/3 innings of relief.
Brian Stultz is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @brianjstultz.