Although he's spent less than a week in the Pacific Coast League, Abraham Toro is fitting right in when it comes to the circuit's penchant for offense.
Houston's sixth-ranked prospect pounded out a season-high five hits as Triple-A Round Rock outslugged El Paso for a 12-11 win at Southwest University Park. Toro doubled, plated three runs and scored twice.
Video: Round Rock's Toro collects fifth hit
"I was out there before batting practice, watching balls out of the stadium," Toro said through a team translator. "I figured I'd have a good chance in the box tonight against their staff."
He figured correctly. The switch-hitter smacked a single to center field in his first at-bat off left-hander Jerry Keel and came around to score one pitch later on Jack Mayfield's two-run triple in the top of the first frame. Two innings later, Toro ripped a ground ball to left, plating Alex De Goti to extend Round Rock's lead to 3-0.
After lining out to Keel in the fifth, Toro delivered another single on the first pitch in the sixth, grounding a single to right off righty Trevor Megill. He legged out an infield single to pitcher Tyler Higgins in the eighth and jogged in to score when Mayfield uncorked a homer two pitches later.
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Mayfield's blast put Round Rock up, 9-6, but El Paso came storming back with three runs in the bottom of the eighth. Cue Toro, whose final plate appearance in the ninth sealed the victory for the Express.
After Myles Straw laced a go-ahead single off righty Carl Edwards Jr., the 22-year-old came to the plate with two runners on and two outs. He supplied insurance for Round Rock with a two-RBI double into the right-field corner. That wound up being just enough for the Express after the Chihuahuas posted two more runs with their last licks.
"He's a pro and goes about his business," Round Rock hitting coach Ben Rosenthal said. "I'm not surprised he's had a good start.
"You can put him anywhere in the order, he's going to do the same. He's going to put a good swing on it. Every at bat is important. That's what great about him ... That's why he's successful."
Rosenthal has spent time coaching Toro each of the previous two seasons. What sets the infielder apart from others, he says, is his adaptability.
"He's improved everything," the coach remarked. "He's bought in. He's coachable, he listens and he does his work. ... You tell him something or show him something and he'll put it into play pretty much immediately.
2019 MiLB include
"For guys like him, it's not hard to adjust," he added. "He won't put too much pressure on himself."
Toro spent the first 98 games of the season with Double-A Corpus Christi, where he compiled a .306/.393/.513 slash line and represented the Hooks in the Texas League All-Star Game. His on-base percentage and slugging percentage topped the circuit, with his average ranking second and his 16 homers tied for third at the time of his promotion. After joining the Express on Aug. 1, Toro has gone 10-for-24 (.417) in six games.
Mayfield and Straw both turned in three-hit nights, with Mayfield driving in four runs and Straw plating two. Taylor Jones added a solo shot for Round Rock.
For El Paso, Webster Rivas barreled two home runs going back-to-back with Rodrigo Orozco before drilling a two-run jack in the eighth and finishing the contest 4-for-5 with five RBIs. Padres No. 12 prospect Austin Allen went 3-for-5 and drove in a run, and No. 24 Ty France bumped his league-leading average up to .400, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored.