Astros' Tucker busts out with three-hit game

Houston's top prospect drives in three runs in AFL

Astros' Tucker busts out with three-hit game

MESA, Ariz. -- Kyle Tucker put together one of his best performances of the Arizona Fall League as Mesa came away with a 16-2 win over Salt River on Saturday afternoon at Sloan Park.

A day after the two teams played to a 3-3 tie, Mesa's offense erupted for 16 runs on 18 hits.

Box score

Tucker, the Astros' top prospect, got the scoring started in the first and also played a role in a seven-run fifth inning for the Solar Sox on his way to a 3-for-5, three-RBI day.

"I felt good," Tucker said. "Just one of those days. We had 18 hits. It was one of those days where barrel found ball and it worked out well."

Tucker, baseball's No. 7 overall prospect, has struggled at times in the AFL, batting .222 through 19 games, so the big game served as a reminder of what the 20-year-old did during the regular season.

The Astros' 2015 first-round pick slashed .274/.346/.528 and set career highs with 25 homers and 90 RBIs in 120 games with Class A Advanced Buies Creek and Double-A Corpus Christi.

"I accomplished what I wanted to do," Tucker said of his 2017 campaign. "Obviously I wanted to do more, but next year I'll set my goals higher than I did last year, since I got done what I wanted to get done and I'm looking forward to [2018]."

Tucker got off to a quick start and put the Solar Sox on the board early with an RBI single in the first off Orioles No. 8 prospect Keegan Akin.

Tucker on Fall League prep

"It was big," Tucker said. "They put up a run in the first inning so we knew ... we had to scratch a run together and that's what we did. And we kept it going from there."

Once the Solar Sox's bats got going, they didn't stop as Mesa scored 15 runs over the final four innings, seven of which came during the fifth.

Victor Robles (Nationals' No. 1, MLB No. 2) drove in a run via a sacrifice fly to begin the scoring in the fifth, but it looked like that was all the damage that would be done. However, a Ryan Mountcastle (Orioles' No. 3) throwing error with two outs extended the frame.

One run scored on the error and then Tucker came up and brought home two more with a double to left field. The next three batters also got hits and the game was suddenly out of hand.

Once the inning ended, Mesa had sent 11 batters to the plate and scored seven runs, six of which came after the two-out error.

"It is contagious," Tucker said. "You don't realize it until after. You're like, 'Oh we got eight hits that inning.' It's good for us, we love to hit, so we'll take it."

And just in case that lead wasn't quite enough, Mesa struck for four more in the seventh -- highlighted by an A.J. Simcox (Tigers) homer -- and three more in the eighth.

Yonathan Daza (Rockies), who finished 3-for-5, provided the bulk of the offense for Salt River as he singled and scored in the first and drove home a run with a two-out single in the seventh.

William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.