Pache, Kirilloff making their power play

May 2nd, 2021

A pair of the top sluggers in the Minors in 2019, Cristian Pache and Alex Kiriloff, had their power on full charge in The Show on Saturday night.

Pache, who was sent down to the club’s Alternate Training Site after April 13, was recalled on Saturday morning and made his presence felt right away in Atlanta’s 6-5 defeat in 10 innings to Toronto at TD Ballpark. MLB Pipeline’s No. 11 overall prospect stepped to the dish with the bases loaded for his first at-bat of the game in the second inning and demolished a 2-2 76 mph changeup from Tommy Milone and blasted it left-center for his first career grand slam.

The blast was also Pache’s first career regular-season long ball and his first four big league regular-season RBIs. In 2019, between Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett, the 22-year-old mashed 57 extra-base hits and drove in 61 runs.

Kirilloff notched his first pair of dingers on Friday and kept the power dial at max as he clubbed his third tater in two games in Minnesota’s 11-3 loss to Kansas City. MLB Pipeline’s 22nd-ranked overall prospect connected with an 0-1 fastball from Danny Duffy that came in right down the middle of the plate, and deposited it into the seats in center field for a solo blast.

Saturday’s long ball extended the 23-year-old’s hitting streak to five games. In the span, the 2016 No. 15 overall pick is 6-for-20 with three homers, a double, five RBIs and four runs scored.

In 2019, Kirilloff notched 29 extra-base kocks over 94 games with Double-A Pensacola.

More notable performances from rookies on Saturday:

Michael Kopech, RHP, CWS (MLB No. 34)
Whether starting or relieving, Kopech continues to get the job done. Coming off a 10-strikeout performance in his second start of the season, the 25-year-old came came out of the bullpen to strike out three over three scoreless innings against the Indians, giving him 30 in 18 2/3 frames this season. Kopech allowed a single and nothing else while firing 31-of-44 pitches for strikes to lower his ERA to 1.45. The right-hander has surrendered one run in nine relief appearances and is holding opponents to a .125 average. Gameday »

Nick Maton, 2B, PHI
The 24-year-old reached base three times and finished 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored in a loss to the Mets. Maton collected a hit in each of his first six big league games, including four straight multi-hit efforts. He endured a 2-for-17 stretch over the ensuing five games to close out April before getting back on track Saturday. Through his first 12 games as a Major Leaguer, Maton is batting .357/.400/.476 with five doubles in 42 at-bats. Gameday »

Jordan Holloway, RHP, MIA
Holloway remains unscored upon in his Major League career after striking out one over two shutout innings against the Nationals. Starlin Castro's ground-rule double in the seventh was just the second hit allowed by by the 24-year-old this season. Through five appearances spanning seven innings, Holloway has struck out seven and walked one. Gameday »

Justin Williams, OF, STL
Williams made the most of his one at-bat, homering as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning in a win over the Pirates. The two-run blast was his third of the season and first since April 19, a span of 27 at-bats. Williams had gone 2-for-26 with 14 strikeouts in his previous 10 games before his 419-foot roundtripper. Gameday »

Ryan Hendrix, RHP, CIN
The 26-year-old completed a full inning for the first time since his Major League debut on April 23, and did so in impressive fashion against the Cubs. Topping out at 98 mph, Hendrix worked around a one-out walk and finished the ninth by striking out two to give him four in 2 2/3 innings this season. Cincinnati's No. 20 prospect has yet to allow a hit but has walked three. Gameday »

Nick Sandlin, RHP, CLE
Sandlin enjoyed a successful Major League debut, retiring the White Sox Leury García and Tim Anderson before striking out Adam Eaton on a 78-mph slider to end the sixth. The 24-year-old threw 10-of-16 pitches for strikes and topped out at 95 mph. Gameday »

Wyatt Mills, RHP, SEA
Less than four years removed from his selection as a third-round Draft pick, Mills made his Major League debut with a perfect inning against the Angels. The No. 22 Mariners prospect retired Jose Iglesias on a comebacker, Max Stassi on a flyout and David Fletcher on a lineout during his 14-pitch outing. Gameday »