Sounds' Nunez hits Minors-best 30th homer

A's No. 24 prospect goes yard in third straight Triple-A game

Renato Nunez's previous career high was 29 homers, set in 2014 with Class A Advanced Stockton. (Bobby Stevens/

By Josh Jackson / | August 6, 2017 10:08 PM

The race for the Joe Bauman Home Run Award, given to the Minor Leaguer who slugs the most roundtrippers, is kicking into gear. For Renato Nunez, though, it's too early to think about postseason honors.

"I don't really think on that level," the A's 24th-ranked prospect said. "I just try to make my adjustments and keep growing as a hitter. That's all that I'm thinking about."

Nunez went yard for the third straight game on Sunday. His fourth-inning solo shot was his Minor League-leading 30th and put Triple-A Nashville on the board en route to a 5-4 rain-shortened win over Reno at Greater Nevada Field. The game was called due to rain with two outs in the top of the ninth inning.

Gameday box score

"I'm pretty excited because this is the first time in my career that I hit that number," the Venezuela-born slugger said. "I'm glad I hit it and I'm glad we won the game and won the series."

The 23-year-old outfielder is batting .254/.312/.551 in 103 games in the Pacific Coast League after putting up a .228/.278/.412 slash line with 23 homers in 128 games with the Sounds last season.

"I just try to make adjustments and I've been hitting well. I just try to make adjustments and see the ball better," he said. "I'm taking more pitches and swinging at better pitches; I don't swing at everything. I played Winter Ball [in Venezuela from October-December], too, and that helped me a lot. And I just keep working [during the season]."

After Aces southpaw Eric Jokisch fanned the right-handed power hitter on three pitches in the first inning, Nunez hammered a ball over the fence in left field on Jokisch's first offering three innings later.

"In the first at-bat, he wasn't really attacking me with his fastball. He threw me a lot of changeups or off-speed pitches. I was sitting back on a breaking ball and he threw changeup and it was a little bit up," Nunez said. "As soon as I hit it, I knew it was gone. That's got to be the best feeling in the world -- amazing -- when you know you hit it good and you don't have to run too hard."

Video: Nashville's Nunez hits 30th homer

Nunez, who's spent the bulk of his career at third base, also notched an outfield assist, completing a double play in the eighth when Oswaldo Arcia -- representing the tying run -- tried to take third on Zach Borenstein's fly ball to left.

MiLB include

"I was excited because that was the first [assist] in all my career that I got as an outfielder," he said, "and because in that situation, that really helped the team."

A's No. 25 prospect Joey Wendle tripled, singled, drove in one run and scored another.

Right-hander Zach Neal (2-7) notched the win, holding Reno to three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out two over 5 2/3 innings.

Video: Walker goes yard for the Aces again

Christian Walker -- the D-backs' No. 27 prospect -- moved into second place in the Minors with his 27th and 28th homers for the Aces. Nunez said that while he's not paying attention to the leaderboard, he knows Walker is "a good player."

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Jokisch (7-5) was charged with five runs -- four earned -- on four hits and a walk with eight strikeouts over seven innings.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @JoshJacksonMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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