10/31/12 2:57 AM ET
Van Slyke slugs three homers in Venezuela
Dodgers No. 14 prospect collects four hits, four RBIs in historic La Guaira triumph
By Ashley Marshall / Special to MLB.com
It's a long way, literally and figuratively, from Dodger Stadium to Estadio Universitario in Venezuela. But on Tuesday evening, Los Angeles' No. 14 prospect added another milestone to his resume.
Van Slyke went 4-for-5 with three homers and four RBIs as the Tiburones de La Guaira outlasted the Tigres de Aragua, 8-6, in the Venezuelan Winter League.
Selected by the Dodgers in the 14th Round of the 2005 Draft, the son of former big leaguer Andy Van Slyke singled to left field in the second inning, and he pulled a deep fly ball over the fence in left field to lead off the fourth.
After flying out to center field in the fifth inning, the first baseman then took Leonel Bastidas deep to center field in the seventh to give the Tiburones a 6-4 lead.
The Tigres tied the game as part of a two-run eighth, but Van Slyke gave the hosts a walk-off victory with a two-run blast -- his seventh in 14 Caribbean outings -- off Toronto right-hander Yohan Pino.
Van Slyke, who made his Major League debut on May 9, 2012, hit .167 with two homers and seven RBI in 27 games for the Blue Jays.
In eight seasons in the Minors, Van Slyke is a career .290 hitter. He has slugged 86 homers, including a career-high 23 with the Inland Empire 66ers in the Class A Advanced California League in '09.
With the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes this year either side of his big league callup, the 26-year-old Missouri native hit .327 with 18 homers and 67 RBIs.
Van Slyke, who suited up for Yaquis de Obregon in the Mexican Pacific League in 2009, raised his average to .308 in the win. He has 13 RBIs in 14 games, and he is slugging .750 in 52 at-bats. Tuesday's performance on Venezuela's northern coast was Van Slyke's first three-homer performance and his fourth career multi-homer game.
His four RBIs fell short of the eight-RBI performance he had in his rookie year with the Dodger's Gulf Coast League affiliate in 2005 when he went 3-for-4 with two longballs.
Ashley Marshall is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.