Kyle Parker had a dismal start to his season. It’s all in the past now.
The Albuquerque Isotopes’ first baseman smashed an RBI double, a solo home run and a two-run triple in his first three at-bats Saturday night to help his team earn a 9-5 victory over the visiting Omaha Storm Chasers. It was merely a continuation of his recent hot streak that has seen Parker bat .450 (18-for-40) over his last 10 games.
“It’s just been some little adjustments and then just realizing how difficult this game is,” Parker said. “We’ve got it rolling now, but tomorrow is a new day. It’s just all about succeeding and failing, it’s a continuous cycle.”
Parker ended up just a single shy of the cycle, grounding out to shortstop in the sixth. He was then left on deck in the eighth as Ryan Casteel struck out for the third time.
“I just wanted to get a hit (in the sixth) and I walked away after the at-bat thinking man, I tried to do too much, I just wanted to stay simple,” Parker said. “If I had to do it again, I would just try to rip one and not worry about what happens next.”
Parker’s RBI double to left-center in the first inning put Albuquerque (21-29) ahead, only to see Omaha (24-26) respond with two runs in the second. Parker erased that brief lead with a home run onto the right field berm in the third.
The Isotopes would add another run to take a 3-2 lead in the third. They tacked on four more in the fourth, with Parker’s two-run triple down the right field line the biggest hit of the frame.
“It’s good to see him make the adjustments that he needs to make to be a productive player on a day-in, day-out basis,” manager Glenallen Hill said. “It seemed like in the early part of the year he was trying to make it happen, not really fully mentally engaged to what was going on. So it’s nice to see him swinging the bat well.”
Parker was hitting an anemic .155/.241/.282 in April, striking out 24 times in 71 at-bats. In May, Parker was hitting .322/.337/.456 going into Saturday’s game.
“It probably wasn’t a legitimate .155, I was hitting balls hard,” Parker said. “(But) I wasn’t getting many lucky breaks. Along with that I was giving a lot of at-bats away.”
As for the rest of the Isotopes, starter Boone Whiting (1-0) was solid in his debut despite taking a comebacker off his right leg in the second inning. Whiting ended up going five innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out one.
“It was the first time we’ve seen him pitch and he hasn’t pitched in a while, so we didn’t want to overextend him,” Hill said. “It was a nice outing for him.”
Albuquerque and Omaha will meet again Sunday at 6:05 p.m. Right-hander Jon Gray (2-5, 6.22 ERA) will start for the Isotopes against Storm Chasers right-hander Aaron Brooks (3-3, 3.86).