Patrick Kivlehan, the Mariners' No. 18 prospect, hit two home runs Thursday to help Class A Advanced High Desert to an 8-4 victory at Lancaster.
Kivlehan finished the night 3-for-5 and is now hitting .311 with five home runs this season.
Hitting hasn't been a problem for Kivlehan since he returned to baseball in 2012 after four years of playing football at Rutgers. But he has found the California League to be especially inviting since reaching High Desert last summer. In 83 games with the Mavericks, he is hitting .318 with 18 home runs.
While he continues to excel at the plate this year, Kivlehan is learning a new defensive position. He was a third baseman for his first two professional seasons, but with D.J. Peterson also playing for High Desert, Kivlehan is splitting his time between the hot corner and first base. On Thursday, he played third, while Peterson served as the designated hitter.
Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less