11/12/09 12:30 AM ET
Rays' Ashley continues to impress
Triples twice, extends hit streak to 13 games in Dogs' rout
By Robert Emrich / Special to MLB.com
Ashley tripled twice, doubled, scored three runs and extended his season-long hitting streak to 13 games Wednesday as the Phoenix Desert Dogs rolled past the Scottsdale Scorpions, 12-3.
The Rays catching prospect had never tripled twice in a game in his four-year professional career.
"If you hit things in the right place, you can make anything happen," he said, referring to the expansive outfield at Scottsdale Stadium.
Ashley is second in the elite AFL with a .400 batting average (20-for-50), despite not playing every day. He credited his focus between games for that success.
"It's taking the right mind-set into batting practice," he said. "You can get carried away on hitting homers and trying to impress people, but I'm just working on my game."
Selected by Tampa Bay in the sixth round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, Ashley was a Florida State League midseason All-Star before earning a promotion to Double-A Montgomery. He combined to hit .230 with three homers and 36 RBIs in 97 games.
"It's a great experience to play with these kind of players at the caliber they play at," the Indiana native said of his AFL experience. "I can learn a lot from catching new guys and seeing what works for them. I can't solely concentrate on part of my game, I have to keep going and work on everything."
Brad Emaus singled twice and drove in a pair of runs and fellow Blue Jays prospect Darin Mastroianni also had two RBIs while recording his first AFL stolen base. Danny Espinosa (Nationals) smacked a two-run homer for the first-place Desert Dogs (14-11), who snapped a three-game losing streak.
Reider Gonzalez (Blue Jays) notched the win, improving to 2-0, despite allowing two runs on three hits with four strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings. Toshiyuki Yanuki got the next seven outs, yielding two hits and fanning two to extend his scoreless streak to 10 2/3 innings.
Florida State League All-Star Domonic Brown (Phillies) tripled and drove in two runs but also committed two errors for the Scorpions (10-14). Brian Friday went 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored and fellow Pirates prospect Jose Tabata chipped in two hits to raise his average to a team-best .355.
Phillies Minor Leaguer Michael Cisco (0-2) surrendered five runs -- two earned -- on two hits and a walk in three innings. He struck out one. Andrew Johnston (Rockies) retired all three batters he faced to run his shutout string to five frames.
Robert Emrich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.