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Yelich powers Hammerheads to win
Marlins top prospect goes deep twice, scores go-ahead run
05/09/2012 10:15 PM ET
Christian Yelich has five homers, nine RBIs and eight steals in 24 games.
Christian Yelich has five homers, nine RBIs and eight steals in 24 games. (Jupiter Hammerheads)
After a freak accident in Spring Training, Christian Yelich didn't know what was going to happen to his season. As it turns out, everything is just fine.

The Marlins' top prospect continued his hot hitting on Wednesday, mashing a pair of solo homers and scoring the go-ahead run as the Class A Advanced Jupiter Hammerheads defeated the Tampa Yankees, 4-3.

It was the first career multi-homer performance for Yelich, who is batting .500 (9-for-18) with three longballs, three doubles and four RBIs over his last five games.

"I've just been getting some good pitches and putting good swings on them. That's really all you can ask for," Yelich said. "We're playing in a tough ballpark to hit homers in, but I'm just trying to get good pitches, put good swings on them and let the rest take care of itself."

Yelich got the Hammerheads on the board early, slamming a two-out shot to center field in the first inning off Tampa starter Jose Ramirez. The 20-year-old outfielder went deep again in his next at-bat, leading off the fourth by putting one over the left-field fence.

"The first one was a first-pitch fastball," Yelich said. "I just jumped on it and hit it out to center.

"The second one was a 1-1 fastball away. It was actually a pretty good pitch, it was running away from me. I put a good swing on it and hit it over the left-field fence. But that was a good pitcher's pitch. I was just fortunate to get a swing on it and have it go out tonight."

After grounding out in the sixth, Yelich drew a walk against left-hander Kramer Sneed in the eighth with the score tied, 3-3. He came around to score the decisive run two batters later when Alfredo Lopez lined a single to center field.

"He was a pretty tough lefty," Yelich said. "I was just trying to get on base and was doing anything I could -- hit, walk. I ended up working a full count, [he] threw a 3-2 curve and missed, and I got on. Lopez came up and hit a clutch single and we were able to win."

Selected 23rd overall in the 2010 Draft, Yelich batted .312 with 15 homers and 77 RBIs in his first full pro season. Although he was on the disabled list to start this year, he has not appeared hampered since debuting on April 15, hitting .310 with five homers, nine RBIs and eight stolen bases in 24 games.

"It was kind of a freak accident," Yelich said. "I was standing on deck with a day left of Spring Training and a guy swung through a changeup and let go of the bat. The bat hit me on the elbow and it got all swollen.

"It was kind of scary. I didn't know if it was broken, didn't know what was going to happen. It was just a deep bruise and I missed a week. I'm back to 100 percent and good to go after that."

After winning a South Atlantic League title with Class A Greensboro last year, Yelich's goal for this season is simple.

"Just help this team go out and win every night," Yelich said, "and hopefully we can win another championship later on down the road."

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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