Sweeney's inside-the-parker highlights 3-homer night at Triple-A

May 30th, 2024

The beauty of baseball is it affords even the best of the best an opportunity to do something unique. For , that came in the second inning on Wednesday night at Isotopes Park.

The Dodgers' No. 21 prospect kicked off a career-best performance with something he hadn't done since his Little League days, and the evening only got better from there. A second-inning inside-the-park home run was the first of three roundtrippers on the evening for Sweeney, whose four hits and five RBIs led Triple-A Oklahoma City to a 6-1 win over Albuquerque.

The three jacks marked the first multihomer game as a professional for Sweeney, who had to take a trip back in time to his youth in Louisville, Ky., to recall his first inside-the-parker.

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"Yeah, it's been a long time since I hit one of those," Sweeney said.

The lefty-swinging shortstop's 409-foot drive off the center-field wall eluded a leaping Sam Hilliard (Rockies) and caromed toward right field, enabling Sweeney to race around the bases and score without a throw. The 6-foot-3, 212-pounder wasn't sure he got enough of it to get over Hilliard's head, but he didn't take any chances.

"When I first hit it, I knew I got a hold of it good," Sweeney explained. "But I also thought he might track it down. Center field here is a long ways away [428 feet]. I was hitting second when I noticed it kicked away and sort of rolled into no-man's land and that's when I realized I had a good shot at [the inside-the-park home run]."

Sweeney's second jack was more traditional. The 2021 20th overall pick by the Yankees smoked a 420-foot drive over the wall in left-center field for a two-run homer in his next at-bat in the fourth. A single in the sixth set him up for one final chance at the homer trifecta, which he wasted no time in accomplishing with a first-pitch tater to center.

Sweeney went the more traditional route for his second jack, which came in his next at-bat in the fourth when he smoked a 420-foot drive over the left-center-field wall for a two-run homer. A single in the sixth set him up for one final chance at the homer trifecta, which he wasted no time in accomplishing with a first-pitch tater over to center.

"I'd be lying if I said it didn't cross my mind, but no, I wasn't trying to hit one out there," Sweeney said. "In that situation, I was just trying to have a good at-bat and barrel one up. I was able to lift it and sort of let the elevation here do its thing to help me."

Sweeney's four hits and five RBIs both equaled career highs and continued a scorching stretch for the 24-year-old, who has left the yard five times since last Friday, a span of four games and 14 at-bats. He entered that game with two long balls in his previous 44 games and 185 at-bats.

"Just making some small adjustments," Sweeney said about his recent uptick. "I was missing a lot of hittable pitches early on and swinging at pitches I should not have been. I just wasn't seeing the ball really well. It's all about finding something you're confident and comfortable with and I've done that recently."