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Rizzo goes deep twice, plates six
Top Cubs prospect records fourth multi-homer game of season
05/09/2012 2:23 AM ET
Anthony Rizzo is batting .357 with nine homers and 31 RBIs through 30 games.
Anthony Rizzo is batting .357 with nine homers and 31 RBIs through 30 games. (Iowa Cubs)
Anthony Rizzo doesn't know why exactly his home runs have generally come in pairs this year, but he's certainly not complaining.

The Cubs' top prospect left the park twice and drove in six runs on Tuesday, helping Triple-A Iowa Cubs blow out the Fresno Grizzlies, 13-2.

Rizzo has now recorded four multi-homer performances this year. The only time he hit just one longball in a game came on April 8, the fourth day of the season.

"I try not to waste at-bats," Rizzo said. "When I do have a game where I have hit a homer, I'm not necessarily trying to hit another. But the main thing for me is not wasting at-bats and taking advantage of the opportunities provided to me. I wish there was some secret, but there's really not."

The 22-year-old first baseman wasted little time making an impact on the game, taking a 1-1 pitch from Grizzlies starter Eric Hacker over the center-field wall for a three-run homer.

"Both [homers] were in RBI situations," Rizzo said. "I was up there looking for a good pitch up. I got a breaking ball up and was able to take advantage of that for the first homer."

After a pair of groundouts -- one of which resulted in a double play -- Rizzo stepped to the plate in the sixth with one out and two men on. He went deep again, this time sending a 1-1 pitch from lefty reliever Wilmin Rodriguez over the right-field fence.

"Once again in that situation, we had runners on base and I was looking for something up to drive," Rizzo said. "I got it up in the air and it flew out for me."

Originally selected by the Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2007 Draft, Rizzo has been traded twice in his career -- once to the Padres and again to the Cubs. He performed well for Triple-A Tucson last year, batting .331 with 26 roundtrippers and 101 RBIs in 93 contests, but struggled following a promotion to the Majors. In 49 games with the Padres, he hit just .141 with one homer and nine RBIs.

But Rizzo is building a good case to get back to the big leagues. Through 30 games, he is batting .357 with nine homers and 31 RBIs.

"Guys in front of me have put me in good situations to succeed," Rizzo said. "I don't really have to do too much to get a base hit and drive some guys in. The lineup has really contributed to a lot of hits that I've gotten. The team's just a lot of fun to be around, and I think it makes it easier to play when you have a team that likes to go out and have fun."

Despite his success, Rizzo is not hung up on when he will get his next chance to play at the highest level.

"One day, that's going to be exciting to be able to experience going up to Chicago and playing with those guys," Rizzo said. "I'm just taking it day by day, trying to help Iowa win games and get back into the divisional race. I'm working on the things that I have to work on that are going to get me to Chicago and [help me] stay for there for years and years."

No. 11 Cubs prospect Josh Vitters also enjoyed a strong game Tuesday, going 3-for-5 with a homer, a double and four RBIs.

Iowa starter Chris Rusin (3-2) earned the win after yielding one run on three hits over six innings.

David Heck is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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