“You can’t get complacent, and you can’t get lazy in this game and at this level. It’s something you have to work on every day,” Patterson said following Triple-A Iowa’s 6-5 win over New Orleans on Saturday night at Zephyr Field in the second game of a four-game series.
Most of Patterson’s work lately has to do with developing better timing, and that work seems to be paying off.
Patterson has seven hits in his last eight at-bats and prior to his ninth-inning flyout, he had recorded a hit in each of his last seven at-bats.
The Cubs second base prospect keyed four hits and scored twice for Iowa (14-15) on Saturday to raise his batting average to .298 through 26 games.
“He’s been seeing the ball well and using the whole field,” Iowa manager Buddy Bailey said of the left-handed hitting Patterson. “Some times he tries to pull it too much, but when he’s able to hit the ball to left field and left-center in his first couple of at-bats, he usually has a really nice game.”
After totaling 14 hits in the series opener on Friday, Iowa strung together 12 hits Saturday with every position player that started reaching base at least once. The club tallied all six runs and 11 of their hits against New Orleans starter Jose Santiago, who took the loss.
Most of the runs came in a four-run third inning, in which Iowa batted around thanks to six consecutive hits.
Scott Moore’s two-run double highlighted the inning. The third baseman was the last of six consecutive left-handed hitters in the Iowa lineup on Saturday, which started at the top with leadoff man Chris Walker.
“We’re just a left-handed dominated lineup,” Bailey said.
Les Walrond (3-2) started and allowed four runs on eight hits in six innings for the victory. The left-hander yielded three runs and four hits in the first inning. He struck out five and walked one.
Left-hander Clay Rapada worked 1 2/3 innings to close things out in relief for the save. He struck out two and retired four of the five hitters he faced.
Rapada ended the game by picking off top New York Mets outfield prospect Carlos Gomez at first base.
“Usually baserunners don’t get too big of a lead on me,” Rapada said afterward. “Given what I know from other teams, I have a pretty good (pickoff) move. It was kind of a shock to see him get that big of a lead.”
Rapada noted that Gomez had gotten a fairly sizable lead off second base against Friday’s starter Ryan O’Malley the day before.
“I actually told O’Malley before the game that if he got that big of a lead on me, I was going to pick him off,” Rapada said.
Game 3 of the series is scheduled for Sunday at 7 p.m. Carlos Marmol, who was initially expected to start Saturday’s game, was pushed back a day.
FOOTNOTE: Koyie Hill picked up his second start in as many nights at first base Saturday with Micah Hoffpauir nursing a sore shoulder after diving for a bunt late last month.
“It’s nothing serious,” Hoffpauir said. “It happened a couple of weeks ago and every once in awhile it flares up. It’s just a little soreness.”