Negron helps Sags rally past Solar Sox
Reds prospect flirts with cycle, highlights 11-run inning
Even with some time to think about it, Kris Negron struggled to explain what transpired a few innings earlier.
"I'm still in awe," he said. "I can't believe it happened."
The last-place Peoria Saguaros scored 11 times in the seventh inning Tuesday en route to a stunning 13-8 Arizona Fall League victory over the Mesa Solar Sox.
Negron, a Reds infield prospect, said he'd never been part of such a big rally. He ripped a two-run triple in the middle of the outburst, which started innocently enough when Angels reliever Robert Fish issued a leadoff walk to No. 9 hitter, Padres second baseman Andrew Parrino.
"Everything happened so fast," Negron said. "The hitting was just contagious."
Fish has struggled this fall after going 3-5 with an 8.93 ERA at Double-A. That ERA climbed to 14.21 after the inning, in which he threw 22 pitches and recorded just one out.
"We just started putting some good at-bats together and guys were slowing the game down as a whole," Negron said. "I don't even know, it all happened so fast. We slowed the game down; earlier we were getting ourselves out. But I think we were relaxed and let the game come to us."
The Sags took it to Fish, too. Former first-round pick Ben Revere (Twins) singled, Eduardo Escobar (White Sox) bounced a double over the wall in left, Reds prospect Dave Sappelt added an RBI single and Joe Benson (Twins) delivered a run-scoring double before Negron came through with his triple.
"One out, runners second and third, the middle infield was back," Negron said. "I hit the ball up the middle. It was a hanging a curveball, I just wanted to get a sac fly, try to get under a little hit it hard, and I hit it to center."
That was all for Fish, who was charged with six runs on five hits and a walk. Eddie McKiernan (Angels) continued to take one for the team as Rays farmhand Jose Ruiz stroked a pinch-hit double and Luis Martinez (Padres) lined an RBI single to put Peoria in front, 9-8. Parrino singled again and Revere reached on a force attempt that allowed Martinez to score. A pair of throwing errors plated two more runs and Escobar capped the uprising with a sacrifice fly.
"I know the team can do it, we put up seven or eight runs in a game a couple times, so I know the team can do it," Negron said. "But it starts getting contagious. It's a fun thing to watch, everyone in the dugout is cheering."
Negron, who began his career with Boston, finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs. He's hitting .319 after splitting his fifth Minor League season between Double-A Carolina and Triple-A Louisville.
"Coming in, I wanted to get my timing in, getting my foot down, swing at my pitches, not a pitcher's pitch, and I've been able to do that the past week and a half," said Negron, who had three RBIs on Friday and four the day before. "I'm just trying to keep that up."
Negron totaled 11 homers, 41 RBIs and 35 steals in 127 games this summer. Add in 20 doubles and six triples, and he's a huge threat to ruin a pitcher's inning.
"I feel like I put a good season together. I finished strong and I'll take that momentum coming in here and stick with that," he said.
Negron, the Southern League's Player of the Week in mid-August, has 12 hits and 11 RBIs in his last 10 AFL games. He raised his average 33 points in Tuesday's win.
"I'm working every day to be consistent and I'm sticking with my approach, coming out and having fun," he said. "It's a great bunch of guys, it's fun playing with them and against them. I played with some of them in the Southern League. We've all been watching the World Series, so it didn't take long for us to bond together."
NOTES: Escobar went 4-for-5l, falling a homer shy of the cycle. ...Sappelt and Martinez had two RBIs apiece. ... Revere was 1-for-6, but he's still hitting .371 as the Sags' leadoff man. He added his ninth stolen base. ... Brandon Wood (Angels) and Matt Rizzotti also drove in two runs each. Rizzotti, batting .410, hit cleanup for Mesa. ... Twins starter David Bromberg gaveup three runs on five hits and a walk over four innings for Peoria. ... Mets lefty Robert Carson started for the Sox and yielded a run on four hits over four frames. He struck out four. ... Fish has allowed 10 runs over his last five appearances.
Danny Wild is an editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.