Jimenez finishes homer shy of cycle

Angels' No. 11 prospect drives in five for Salt Lake in loss

By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com | August 19, 2013 10:29 PM ET

Luis Jimenez is feeling just fine.

In his ninth game since coming off the disabled list with a shoulder strain, the Angels' No. 11 prospect collected three hits -- finishing a home run shy of the cycle -- and drove in five runs for Salt Lake on Monday in a 14-8 loss to Las Vegas.

The infielder -- who started at shortstop but moved to third base later in the game -- helped the Bees leap to an 8-7 lead through three innings before Las Vegas rebounded and pulled away.

After lining out to center field with a man at second in the first inning, Jimenez took full advantage of his next two man-on opportunities. In the second inning, Roberto Lopez and Matt Long advanced to second and third respectively on a wild pitch with Jimenez at the plate, and the 25-year-old then plated them both by lacing a two-run double into left field.

In the third, Tommy Field walked in front of Jimenez to load the bases, and the Dominican infielder cleared the bases with a triple into center.

Jimenez later singled in the bottom of the eighth.

The right-handed hitter has split time between Triple-A Salt Lake and the Major Leagues this season. In 24 games with Los Angeles, he hit .232 with a .539 OPS between April 12 and May 17. He then was sent back to Triple-A, where he played until suffering the shoulder strain and landing on the disabled list July 9.

The infielder began a rehab assignment with the team's Arizona League affiliate in early August, going 6-for-13 with a homer in three games.

He returned to Salt Lake on Aug. 11 and since has hit safely in seven of his nine games. He's batting .289 (11-for-38) in that span, and his five RBIs Monday gave him 13 over that time. With a spot on the Angels' 40-man roster already in hand, the infielder could be a possible September callup for Los Angeles.

In 41 games total with the Bees, Jimenez is hitting .295 with a .341 on-base percentage and three home runs. In 2012, he amassed a .309 average with a .334 on-base percentage and 16 roundtrippers for Salt Lake.

While Jimenez helped push the Bees to an early advantage, Matt den Dekker and the rest of the 51s didn't let the lead last. The center fielder slugged a pair of home runs for Las Vegas, going 3-for-4 with three runs, two RBIs and a walk. The two solo blasts gave the 26-year-old six homers in 45 Triple-A games this season as he raised his average to .282.

Zach Lutz also homered for the 51s, belting a three-run jack in the top of the first inning -- his 13th of the season. The third baseman finished 2-for-5 with a double, four RBIs, two runs and a walk to bring his average up to .285.

Also bolstering the Las Vegas comeback was Ruben Tejada, who went 3-for-6 with a double, three RBIs and two runs scored. The 23-year-old shortstop, sent to Triple-A in early July by the Mets, is hitting .268 in 46 Pacific Coast League games.

Jake Seiner is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Jake_Seiner. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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