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Sanchez breaks out as Rafters take down Dogs

White Sox's seventh-ranked prospect triples, matches season total with four RBIs

Special to
Carlos Sanchez has spent the last week-and-a-half in the midst of a major slump, having gone 4-for-29 in his last seven games with just one extra-base hit.

But the White Sox's No. 7 prospect broke out in fine fashion Thursday, reaching base four times and driving in four runs to lead Salt River to a 6-3 win over Phoenix in the Arizona Fall League.

"I felt more relaxed today; I concentrated in every at-bat," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "I wanted to hit."

The second baseman, who signed with Chicago out of his native Venezuela in 2009, went 2-for-3 with a triple and a pair of walks, his second multi-hit effort of the fall. His four-RBI performance matched his AFL season total thus far.

Salt River's leadoff hitter Brian Goodwin, the Nationals' third-ranked prospect also had a big day. The leadoff man went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a walk, setting the table for No. 2 hitter Sanchez to drive him in twice.

"It's real important whenever you have a guy in front of you who's always on base to be able to drive him in as well," Sanchez said. "You have to capitalize on those opportunities."

Goodwin doubled to lead off the bottom of the first inning, was awarded third on a balk by Desert Dogs starter Scott McGough (Marlins) and scored on a base hit by Sanchez. The center fielder doubled again in the sixth and came home, along with Chris Dickerson (Rockies), when Sanchez roped a triple to deep center -- his first of the fall.

"I was just looking to get hard contact with [runners on] first and third, trying to drive one in and having a good [at-bat]," Sanchez said, "Thank God I ended up getting a triple."

The 20-year-old has made a swift ascent through the White Sox's Minor League system, playing at five different levels since the beginning of 2011.

He began this season with Class A Advanced Winston-Salem, where he hit .315 with a .374 on-base percentage -- earning him a Carolina League All-Star nod -- before being promoted to Birmingham and eventually Triple-A Charlotte. Sanchez's year-end batting average of .323 led all Sox farmhands.

The Rafters worked their way out of a jam in the eighth when reliever Kevin Munson (D-backs) loaded the bases with two outs, but Coty Woods (Rockies) entered and struck out Marlins prospect Kyle Jensen on three pitches to end the threat.

Jensen continued his week-long tear for Phoenix, going 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs. The right fielder has driven in runs in each of his last four games, going 12-for-19 with 10 RBIs and four runs scored over that span.

Salt River starter Ryan Tepera (Blue Jays) allowed one run, scattering eight hits and a walk while striking out six over four innings of work.

Zack Cox is a contributor to

Chicago White Sox