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Slater extends hitting streak in Fall League win

Giants' No. 18 prospect drives in two runs for Glendale in 2-for-4 performance

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It took Austin Slater some time to find his rhythm, but once the Giants' prospect figured everything out, he's been a tough out in the Arizona Fall League.

"I was working with our coordinator and some guys on some mechanical things," Slater said. "This is a time to work on your game and work on some things you saw during the season that you need to improve. I'd say the first couple weeks, for me, it was a lot of tiny adjustments to my approach and my swing."

Slater put together another strong performance at the plate as he jump-started the Scottsdale offense and led the Scorpions to a 5-4 win over the Glendale Desert Dogs on Tuesday night at Scottsdale Stadium.

"I feel like we're finally hitting our stride," Slater said after Scottsdale's fifth straight win. "We're getting a lot of good ball from everyone and it's just fun playing with these guys."

The 18th-ranked prospect in San Francisco's organization extended his hitting streak to six games and went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

Jharel Cotton, the Dodgers' No. 15 prospect, no-hit the Scottsdale squad through the first three frames, but Slater came through with a two-run single in the fourth that started the scoring.

"He had a lot of his stuff working, his changeup was working really well the first three," Slater said. "He started having trouble locating it in the fourth, so we put together three or four good at-bats in a row and he had to throw his fastball so we were able to jump on it."

Once Slater broke through, his teammates followed.

Mac Williamson, the Giants' No. 13 prospect, drove in a run via a sacrifice fly to center and Boston's Sam Travis, who hit a three-run walk-off homer on Monday, capped a three-run fifth with an RBI double.

Ideally Slater would have liked to have gotten off to a fast start in the Fall League, but slow starts and strong finishes are nothing new to the 22-year old.

Slater, an eighth-round selection in the 2014 Draft, hit .294 in 114 games between Class A Advanced San Jose and Double-A Richmond this season, but caught fire late and hit .303 in the second half.

"I started out the year in High A and I probably didn't get my second hit until halfway through the second week or into the third week and same thing in Double-A," Slater said. "I don't know, maybe it's an adjustment to the pitching or getting comfortable in the place that I am. I can't really explain it."

Slater and the offense sprung to life in the middle of the game, but it was the relievers that secured the win for the Scorpions.

Scottsdale pitchers escaped bases loaded jams twice in the games' first four innings and stranded 17 Glendale baserunners in total.

"That's where those guys out of the 'pen make their money, leaving guys on base and that was really the difference in the game," Slater said. "We were able to take advantage of our hits and our runners in scoring position and it's just one of those games where that's what it came down to."

William Boor is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.