Brandon Lewis' scorching August at the plate continued with more than a quarter-mile's worth of dingers.The 20-year-old third baseman smacked three homers, drove in a career-high six runs and walked twice in Rookie Advanced Ogden's 9-8 loss to Idaho Falls on Saturday night at Lindquist Field.
Brandon Lewis' scorching August at the plate continued with more than a quarter-mile's worth of dingers.
The 20-year-old third baseman smacked three homers, drove in a career-high six runs and walked twice in Rookie Advanced Ogden's 9-8 loss to Idaho Falls on Saturday night at Lindquist Field.
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"I'm just trying to hit the first strike I see, no matter what pitch it is or no matter where it is," Lewis said. "I was seeing all the pitches really well tonight."
Lewis went deep against all three Chukars pitchers. After drawing a free pass in the first inning against Stephen Ridings, the Dodgers' fourth-round pick in this year's Draft and cranked a 1-1 pitch from the right-hander to left field for a three-run shot that traveled an estimated 438 feet.
"He couldn't really command his curveball for strikes, so I was sitting fastball," Lewis said, "He gave me one middle-in and got my hands inside of it."
It was his shortest long ball of the evening.
Righty Jose Ramirez replaced Ridings in the fifth and Lewis greeted him with a two-run blast to left-center measured at 448 feet, also on a 1-1 offering.
With a runner on third and two outs in the sixth, Ramirez walked Lewis on four pitches. Facing left-hander Austin Manning in the ninth, the UC Irvine product belted a 2-1 offering for a 441-foot solo homer to center. Lewis is 2-for-3 with a homer and a double against the Chukars reliever and 11-for-21 with four homers, two doubles and 10 RBIs against Idaho Falls this season.
It completed the Raptors' first three-homer game since Justin Chigbogu had a hat trick against Great Falls on July 18, 2014. Lewis is 13-for-21 (.619) during a six-game hitting streak to begin August and registered his second multi-homer game of the season, the first coming on July 23, when he drove in four runs against Grand Junction.
Lewis began his professional career with a 12-game stop in the Rookie-level Arizona League, where he produced a .220/.327/.244 slash line. He said the Dodgers organization always planned for a brief stay in Arizona so he could get into the daily routine of being a professional ballplayer.
"Doing some arm care stuff, getting healthy, getting ready for the long season," he said. "I consider myself a second-half player. I traditionally start off pretty slow, but I'm getting into the groove of things right now."
Lewis didn't join the Raptors until July 4, but he ranks fifth on the circuit with 10 homers and 33 RBIs in 26 games.
"The pitchers throw more strikes here," Lewis said of his Pioneer League. "It's a lot easier to be more comfortable in the box rather than the AZL."
Lewis said the Ogden coaching staff has been really supportive as he navigates his first professional season, and the middle-of-the-order bat has rewarded his team by helping the Raptors get off to a 39-11 start. They locked up a playoff berth by winning the first-half South Division title.
"And that goes a long way towards playing well," he said.
Michael Emodi homered, tripled and drove in four runs for the Chukars, while leadoff man Jose Marquez went 3-for-5 and scored twice.
Shlomo Sprung is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @sprungonsports.