Romero homers, drives in four to lift Peoria
Taylor joins fellow Mariners prospect with solo homer
After watching his Mariners teammate Chris Taylor lead off Wednesday's game with a home run, Stefen Romero followed suit two innings later with a three-run shot. It was the key piece of a Mariners-fueled victory for the Javelinas.
Romero's home run gave Peoria the lead for good and it went on to a 7-5 victory against Glendale at Camelback Ranch.
Romero, the Mariners' No. 7 prospect, has had something of a disappointing Fall League so far. He began the day hitting .159 with just one extra-base hit, a double. He turned that around Wednesday and finished the game 2-for-5 with a double and four RBIs to go with his homer.
"Fortunately, the guys ahead of me got on base and I got in good hitting counts," Romero said. "I didn't miss some pitches up in the zone."
Romero was the designated hitter Wednesday, but he has continued his transition to the outfield in the AFL. After playing the infield for the first two years of his professional career, the Mariners began his position switch in Spring Training.
Romero said he is getting used to the outfield.
"I think it's coming along well," he said. "The more reps you get, the better you're going to get."
While Romero has struggled in the AFL, Taylor has been Peoria's best hitter this fall. The Mariners' No. 5 prospect went 1-for-4 with two runs Wednesday and he leads the Javelinas in batting average (.378), on-base percentage (.452) and slugging percentage (.595).
Taylor's home run was the first run Glendale starter Stephen McCray had allowed in 10 2/3 innings this fall. Though he gave up five runs in three innings Wednesday, four were unearned thanks to his own error in the third inning.
Taylor and Romero also helped pick up another of their Mariners teammates. Right-hander Brandon Maurer started the game for the Javelinas and gave up three runs on four hits in four innings. He struck out six batters and earned his first victory in the AFL.
Romero said he has enjoyed playing with Taylor, Maurer and the other Mariners in Peoria.
"It's awesome seeing familiar faces out here in Arizona," he said. "Just being around guys you see in Spring Training and you have that bond with and that connection. You might not have played together during the season, but it brings that camaraderie when you're on the field."
Maurer and three Peoria relievers combined to hold Glendale to six hits. The Desert Dogs were led offensively by Marcus Semien. The White Sox No. 8 prospect went 1-for-3 with two runs and two walks.
After Wednesday's victory, the Javelinas have a modest three-game winning streak, their longest of the season.
Romero was a part of the Peoria team that won last year's championship. While the Javelinas haven't had as much success as they did last year, Romero said they are playing hard every day.
"It's a little cliché, but baseball is a bit more fun when you're winning," Romero said. "But as long as you go out and play well without regret, it doesn't matter if you win or lose as long as you get better and progress forward in your career."