With 144 career Minor League homers on his résumé, it's no surprise to see Peter O'Brien's name near the top of his club's leaderboard in that category. But now he's blasted his way into the record books as well.The Marlins first baseman went deep twice, and in doing so, tied
With 144 career Minor League homers on his résumé, it's no surprise to see Peter O'Brien's name near the top of his club's leaderboard in that category. But now he's blasted his way into the record books as well.
The Marlins first baseman went deep twice, and in doing so, tied a 21-year-old Southern League record by homering in his sixth consecutive game during Double-A Jacksonville's 6-5 win over visiting Biloxi on Monday night.
O'Brien has seven home runs in nine games and 35 at-bats as a member of the Jumbo Shrimp, leaving him two shy of the team lead. Top Marlins prospectMonte Harrison paces the club with nine roundtrippers after belting a walk-off three-run homer against his former organization in the ninth inning.
Former Major Leaguer Derrek Lee went deep in six straight games with Memphis in 1996.
"I feel really good up and there and I'm just sticking with the process," O'Brien said. "I'm a big routine guy and when I stick with it, it gives me confidence. Baseball is a game that can really humble you. I try to ride the highs and deal with the lows, but always remember that process. It's the best way to succeed in this game. I try and bring a confidence into each at-bat. You may not always get the result you want, but it does help you with your consistency at the very least."
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O'Brien struck out in the first inning and singled to left field in the third before extending his streak. With one out and nobody on in the fifth, the 27-year-old took a 1-2 offering from Biloxi starter Kodi Medeiros over the center-field fence to tie Lee's record. He brought his club within two runs in the eighth with a two-run blast to left-center for his season-high third hit.
Jacksonville manager Randy Ready marveled at what O'Brien has done since joining the team.
"It's pretty awesome and pretty spectacular," Ready said. "Six straight games and seven homers in that span ... and there haven't been any cheapies either. They've all been long and loud. Peter's in a good place right now. He's very methodical about his approach, but you can see he's on a mission and it's coming out in the results. He's on another level."
O'Brien finished with three RBIs, giving him 13 over the six-game spree. He's gone deep 14 times in 42 games between Double-A Tulsa and Jacksonville this season, his seventh as a Minor Leaguer.
"A lot of people ask me if I go up there trying to hit homers," said the 6-foot-4, 235-pound infielder. "But that's not something that I focus on. Being a pretty big guy, I know I have a big swing. If I get barrel on it, I'll do some damage."
O'Brien smacked a career-best 34 homers with three teams and two organizations in 2014. He followed that up with his best overall season the next year when he batted .284/.332/.551 with 70 extra-base hits, including 26 home runs, and a career-high 107 RBIs for Triple-A Reno. O'Brien reached the Majors later that season with Arizona and again in 2016. The University of Miami product was traded to his hometown Marlins from the Dodgers on June 1. It marked his seventh organization and the fifth since the start of 2017.
"I'm very excited to be here and my family is thrilled," the Hialeah, Florida native said. "To have an opportunity to play baseball in your hometown is what everyone dreams about. But it's also great because we've got an awesome group of guys here. I feel like that's the best part of about baseball. My teammates, and even some of the guys on the other team, were messing with me about the streak. It's what makes this game great and so much fun."
Harrison completed the Jumbo Shrimp's rally from a 5-0 deficit with his three-run shot to left-center with one out in the ninth.
"It was a wild game," Ready said. "All the runs were off homers tonight on both sides. We got that leadoff walk in the ninth and then things start to happen. Monte comes up against his former organization and wow ... it was a no-doubter."
Miguel Del Pozo, Jeff Kinley and Jose Pena (1-1) combined to allow two hits over three scoreless innings in relief of starter Kolton Mahoney. The 26-year-old right-hander was charged with a season-high five runs on seven hits and three walks with four strikeouts in six innings.
Medeiros shined on the mound and at the plate for Biloxi. Milwaukee's No. 18 prospect surrendered one run, four hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in six innings. He also hit the first home run of his career -- a grand slam that capped a five-run fifth for the Shuckers. Jake Gatewood, the Brewers' 17th-ranked prospect, added two hits, including an inside-the-park homer.
Nate Griep (0-1) walked two batters in the ninth before serving up Harrison's game-winner.
Michael Avallone is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MavalloneMiLB.