Jensen returns to form as Dogs snap losing skid
Marlins prospect reaches base five times, homers in Phoenix's win over Salt River
After being held hitless in his previous nine at-bats, Kyle Jensen was back to his old tricks on Thursday.
Jensen reached base nearly every way possible, going 3-for-3 with a homer, a triple and a single, walking once and reaching on a hit-by-pitch to help his Phoenix Desert Dogs top Salt River, 5-2, to snap a five-game losing streak in the Arizona Fall League.
"It felt really good," Jensen said. "I just wanted to come out, put together some good [at-bats], and today it went well."
The Marlins prospect -- who improved his batting average to .383 for the fall -- also scored twice and drove in a pair for Phoenix, providing the dagger with a solo homer in the top of the ninth. His 14 RBIs on the season lead the team and rank second in the AFL.
The bulk of Jensen's production came over a monster 11-day stretch in mid-October, when the outfielder hit at a .552 clip (16-for-29) over a streak of six consecutive multi-hit games, totaling 10 RBIs and five runs scored.
Since that streak, however, Jensen went 1-for-12 without driving in a run over his last three contests heading into Thursday. But the outfielder said that the mild slump did not diminish his confidence.
"It always feels good when you come out and have a good game after a couple of rough games," he said. "But you can't just let a couple of games get to you, so I wasn't worrying about that, just trying to go out there and put good swings on the ball."
Another mainstay on the basepaths on Thursday was Phoenix leadoff hitter Josh Prince (Brewers), who also reached base in all five plate appearances, going 3-for-3 with a pair of walks, an RBI and two runs scored.
A fourth-year pro out of Tulane, Prince has been perhaps the breakout star of the AFL thus far. The outfield/middle infield prospect ranks second behind Peoria's Nate Roberts (Twins) in average (.443), on-base percentage (.521) and OPS (1.143), but has nearly twice as many at-bats as Roberts.
"He's been huge for us," Jensen said. "He's been getting on base a lot, hitting the ball hard. When guys hit around you, it's contagious, and for the most part everybody's been hitting well."
Brewers No. 9 prospect Jimmy Nelson allowed just two hits over 3 2/3 scoreless innings for the Desert Dogs but struggled with command, walking five while striking out four.
Andy Wilkins (White Sox) doubled twice and drove in a run for the Rafters.
Zack Cox is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.