10/18/10 11:12 PM ET
Escobar leads Saguaros to first win
ChiSox infield prospect homers during three-hit game
By Josh Jackson / Special to MLB.com
Escobar, who homered and went 3-for-4 with a stolen base and two runs scored, paced the Peoria Saguaros to a 6-3 win over the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League. The victory was the Saguaros' first of the five-game season.
"This morning, I went to the hitting coach and I was feeling good," Escobar said through teammate and makeshift translator Luis Martinez (Padres). "Luckily, I was able to keep that feeling going all day."
With the score, 2-1, in the bottom of the seventh inning, Escobar came to the plate with Ben Revere (Twins) on first base and Kris Negron (Reds) on second. The 5-foot-10, 150-pound shortstop, who totaled six homers between Class A Advanced Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham this year, clubbed one in his 16th AFL at-bat.
Desert Dogs reliever Carlos Hernandez (Athletics) missed outside with two straight fastballs to Escobar, who was ready for the third pitch.
"That at-bat, like every at-bat, I was just trying to get a good pitch," he said. "It was 2-0, and I saw I was getting a fastball. I gave it a good swing and put the good part of the wood on the ball."
The pitch had been on the outer part of the plate. Escobar pulled it to the alley in left-center field, leaving him uncertain about whether it would clear the fence.
"I wasn't too sure, because I hit it out to a big part of the field. I knew I hit it [well]."
Escobar singled and scored his first run of the game on a fifth-inning triple off the bat of Jared Mitchell (White Sox).
Escobar, a 21-year-old native of Venezuela, was named a Midseason and Postseason All-Star in the Carolina League this year.
"I'm working on defense and my hitting too," he said of his time in Arizona. "I've enjoyed it so far. I'm feeling good. Everything has been going well for me so far, thank God."
Escobar singled in the third and took second as part of a double steal with Revere, who had two thefts and an RBI in the game.
Carlos Gutierrez (Twins) worked a 1-2-3 fifth inning for Peoria to earn the win, his first AFL decision. Anthony Carter (White Sox) struck out two in a perfect ninth for his first save.
Stephen Parker (Oakland) and Austin Romine (Yankees) each tripled for Phoenix, and Brandon Laird (Yankees) doubled.
According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitutional Former Braves' second-round pick Freddie Freeman left the game in the fourth after spraining his left thumb while sliding into third base on a triple, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He is expected to be examined further Wednesday.
Yankees prospect Craig Heyer (0-1) absorbed the loss for the Desert Dogs after allowing a run on three hits in two frames.
Josh Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.