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Astros' Tucker provides offense in AFL victory

MLB.com

PEORIA, Ariz. -- After spending the 2017 season split between Class A and Double-A, Kyle Tucker is finding his groove in the Arizona Fall League.

The Astros No. 1 prospect laced an RBI triple in the fifth inning Friday, helping the Mesa Solar Sox secure a win over the Peoria Javelinas, 4-2.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- After spending the 2017 season split between Class A and Double-A, Kyle Tucker is finding his groove in the Arizona Fall League.

The Astros No. 1 prospect laced an RBI triple in the fifth inning Friday, helping the Mesa Solar Sox secure a win over the Peoria Javelinas, 4-2.

"I had the month off so I'm still trying to get into things, but I think it's going pretty well right now," Tucker said. "We're 2-2 right now so things are going good."

Box score

Even after a month away from the game, Tucker looked comfortable at the plate. He went 1-for-2 and walked twice, showing his patience when waiting for the right pitch.

"I was just trying to drive something. That's all you can do as a hitter," Tucker said. "I was trying to get a good pitch to hit and I got one and did the most with it."

Tucker didn't know he was going to try for third.

"I just decided to go three at the end. I was just trying to push it, so it worked out," he said.

Tucker is 3-for-7 with three runs and RBIs in three Arizona Fall League games. He's walked five times, struck out just once and stolen two bases.

Solar Sox teammates David Bote and Sheldon Neuse gave the team an early lead in the first inning, each hitting a home run.

Bote spent his 2017 season in Double-A for the Cubs and went 2-for-4 Friday. Neuse, the A's No. 14 prospect, hit a two-run bomb off the wall in center field, giving Mesa a three-run lead in the first.

The Astros' No.14 prospect, Framber Valdez, left Peoria scoreless after three innings. The left-handed pitcher faced 11 batters and struck out two, allowing only one hit in three innings.

The Javelinas tried to answer in the fourth with a two-run home run from the Padres' No. 10 prospect, Josh Naylor, but Tucker's triple in the fifth held them off. Mesa is now 2-2 and sits at second place in the Arizona Fall League East.

Tucker, the No. 7 overall prospect, is making his way up through the farm system. The center fielder, who was the No. 5 draft pick in 2015, posted a .265/.325/.512 slash line with 16 home runs at Double-A.

Kyra Goodman is a graduate journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication