06/19/09 2:37 AM ET
Clemens amasses six RBIs
Astros prospect excelling with runners on base
By John Parker / Special to MLB.com
Clemens, the oldest son of seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens, clubbed a three-run homer -- his third of the season -- to center field in the first inning. After singling and scoring in the fourth, the 22-year-old cleared the bases with a two-out double in the fifth.
He's served as designated hitter in nearly 60 percent of his at-bats with the JetHawks this season, during which he's hit .266 and slugged .362. As a catcher, however, Clemens is batting .345 with a .552 slugging percentage. Working behind the plate Thursday highlighted the discrepancy.
"I don't really think about it as being different," Clemens said. "When you're catching you can't dwell on your at-bats as much because you've got work to do in the field, I guess, but I don't take a different approach at the plate."
The Houston-born slugger also plated six runs against Rancho Cucamonga back on April 24. Pinch-hitting in the ninth, he hit a three-RBI double, then followed it up with a walk-off three-run homer in the 10th to give the JetHawks an 11-8 win.
"That game was pretty exciting because it all happened in such a short span," recalled Clemens. "Also, I got to play left field for half an inning, which I hadn't done since high school."
Coming into Thursday night's game, Clemens owned a .411 average with runners in scoring position. "I've really focused on bearing down and grinding out at-bats when there are men on," he said.
Clemens was not the only Lancaster hitter to enjoy a big game. Jack Shuck, Marcos Cabral and T.J. Steele collected three hits apiece.
Pitcher Reid Kelly, making just his third start of the season, allowed two runs on three hits while striking out eight over 6 2/3 innings to improve to 2-1. Modesto's late surge -- the Nuts trailed, 9-0, after six frames -- made the game tight, but the JetHawks were able to hang on for their third win in the past four games.
John Parker is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.