Louisville Offense Starting to Take Flight
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - With the Louisville Bats' 2013 season entering its second month, the team is warming up at the plate much quicker than the city's still chilly temperatures. As a team, the Bats have turned up the offense to a tune of a .279 batting average in May through May 13, a 64-point improvement from the month of April. Louisville's improved offensive production has come from a wide cast of characters, as four different players have an average of .300 or better in the month.
Not surprisingly, the heating of the Louisville offense has corresponded with an increase in the team's winning percentage. The Bats went 5-3 on a recent road trip to Buffalo and Lehigh Valley, and hung 28 runs in team's most recent series, a four-game stint against the Bisons, pushing their record to 18-20 for the season.
Leading that charge for the Bats are Felix Perez (.333 in May) and Henry Rodriguez (.360 in May). Rodriguez lit up Buffalo for a team-best five-RBI game this past Sunday, hitting over .400 in the four-game series. The infielder's three-hit performance was part of a 12-2 blowout victory for the Bats, who saw all nine starters register hits in the team's most explosive output of the season.
This is the second straight year that Perez has been at the forefront of the team's offensive fireworks, as he led the squad last season with a .301 average. Thus far in 2013, Perez has again been one of the team's most consistent hitters, leading the team with a .300 average, 12 multi-hit games, and 22 RBI. Perez has also been the hero in two of Louisville's three walk off wins, twice hitting walk-off home runs, including one on opening night at Louisville Slugger Field to beat the Columbus Clippers.
Joining the supporting cast for the Bats' offense is Neftali Soto, who has already put up a pair of eight-game hitting streaks this year, including one that is still alive following last night's game. After a quiet first few weeks in which Soto also went on the disabled list for a week, the young right-hander has now raised his average to .292 for the season.
Much heralded prospect Billy Hamilton has also picked up his game at the plate since the calendar flipped. The speedy Hamilton has hit over 50 points better in May, and the improvement has allowed more chances to wreak havoc on the base paths. His 21 steals make him a sizeable league leader in that category, allowing ample opportunities for the team's hot bats behind the leadoff hitter to bring him home.
With the offense starting to show itself, Louisville is hoping to rise up from the .500 mark that they have hovered around over the season's first month. With upcoming series against teams that are below them in the league standings, the Bats will have a chance to continue to rake at the plate while hopefully starting to ascend in International League race.
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International League Stories from May 14, 2013
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