Still slugs Sea Dogs to record night

Still slugs Sea Dogs to record night

The most productive night of Jon Still's professional career helped the Portland Sea Dogs match a pair of franchise records Monday at New Britain Stadium.

The 24-year-old Boston first-base prospect went 3-for-6 with two homers, a career-high seven RBIs and three runs scored as the Sea Dogs slugged their way to a 19-1 rout of the New Britain Rock Cats.

"It was obviously one of those nights where everything went my way," Still said. "I'm just trying to take advantage of the opportunities I have, and I did that tonight."

Still, who hit .265 with 22 homers and 83 RBIs in 122 games at Class A Advanced Lancaster last season, struck out looking in the opening frame before delivering an RBI single in the third as Portland ran out to an early 6-1 lead and never looked back.

The Red Sox's fourth-round pick in the 2006 Draft was just getting started. He connected for a three-run blast to cap a five-run fourth and repeated the feat in the fifth to surpass his two six-RBI efforts for the JetHawks last year.

"The first [homer], I was just trying to put the ball in play and get an RBI," Still said. "[New Britain starter Michael McCardell) threw me a changeup and I put a good swing on it.

"The next at-bat, I had runners at first and second and [reliever Carlos Gutierrez] painted two fastballs away, then he missed with a fastball inside and gave me something to hit."

Though he flew out in his final two at-bats, Still's power surge proved contagious as Portland belted five homers en route to tying the team mark for runs in a game and margin of victory.

The Sea Dogs also scored 19 runs against New Britain on May 24, 1997 and posted a 19-1 win over New Haven in a playoff game on Sept. 7, 1995.

"Hitting is contagious," he said. "The biggest thing is the pressure we put on them. We put them in situations where they had to make better pitches and sometimes they made mistakes. It seems like the pitchers try to do too much with runners on base."

After hitting only .137 in June, Still admits that he needed a new approach at the plate -- one that has paid immediate dividends thus far this month.

"I look at my month of June because it's very humbling," said Still, who is batting .294 through 18 July contests. "I couldn't buy a hit. It made me simplify my approach. I'm pretty happy with where it's going right now, but I'm not satisfied."

John Torenli is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.