Home Run Derby a Hit at BB&T Ballpark

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Pawtucket Red Sox slugger Chris Marrero swung Monday night like he had unfinished business at BB&T Ballpark.

Released last summer while he was playing for the Triple-A Charlotte Knights, Marrero said last weekend he adored playing in Charlotte nonetheless.

Then he put on a show in the Triple-A Home Run Derby, swatting 18 homers in a three-minute span during the finals to defeat finalist Kyle Jensen of the Reno Aces.

“This place is one of the best places to play in the Minor Leagues,” Marrero said. “I’ve had a long career and this is one of the best things.”

The outfielder, who’s tied for second place in the IL with 16 home runs this season, played in 39 games for Charlotte last season. Following his stint with the Knights, he ended up with the Pawtucket Red Sox.

Beginning with eight entrants — including a pair of recent area high school seniors — Marrero and Jensen reached the final round with 16-homer efforts in the semifinals.

“This was cool,” the 28-year-old Miami native said. “The fans were really into it. They kept the adrenaline going.”

Marrero had a stretch in the finals in which he clobbered the ball over the left-field fence on seven consecutive swings. Each round was four minutes, but he passed Jensen’s total with almost one minute to spare with a span that delighted most of the crowd of 9,228.

“That was fun,” said Jensen, who has 17 homers this season for the D-backs’ top affiliate and clobbered at least 20 in each of the previous three seasons. “It couldn’t have been any better than that. (My 17 in the final) was a good amount, but with this guy you never know.”

Article Courtesy of Minor League Baseball