Allard, Acuna star in M-Braves' win

Southpaw lowers ERA to 1.23; center fielder collects four hits

Kolby Allard has allowed one run on eight hits over 17 innings in his last three starts for Mississippi. (Ed Gardner/MiLB.com)

By Michael Leboff / MiLB.com | May 14, 2017 6:49 PM ET

The two youngest players in Double-A came through again on Sunday.

Kolby Allard allowed two hits and struck out four over five scoreless innings, while Ronald Acuna went 4-for-5 with a double and three RBIs to lead Mississippi to a 6-5 victory over Biloxi at MGM Park. 

Allard (4-1), the Braves' No. 3 prospect, worked around a hit in the first and a single and an intentional walk in the second.


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"He's been throwing first strikes and mixing pitches well," Mississippi manager Luis Salazar said. "He hides the ball very well. He's got three pitches he can throw for a strike at any count. For a young kid, he's got a lot of confidence in himself, especially for the type of hitters he's facing in this league."

After putting together a clean third inning on only 11 pitches, the 19-year-old loaded the bases with a two-out walk to Dustin Houle in the fourth. Allard quickly regained his composure and struck out Jon Perrin looking to escape the jam.

Video: Mississippi's Allard fans Perrin for fourth strikeout

"Nothing seems to bother him out there," Salazar said of the Southern League's second-youngest player. "He makes the big pitch when he needs to and when he wants to go for the strikeout, he can get it. He knows how to pitch and how to handle it when runners are on. The way he's going down here, I'm very proud of how he's doing."

Allard ranks second in the league with a 1.23 ERA and seventh with a 0.95 WHIP.

After grounding out in the first, Acuna collected hits in his next four at-bats, including a three-run double to right field in the fourth.

Video: 5/14/17: Mississippi center fielder Ronald Acuna

"Acuna made our lineup and team better from the second he joined us," Salazar said. "You hardly ever see that young of a player with that much potential. He's got it all -- he can run, he can hit and he can throw. It's only been a few games, but I don't think I've seen many players with that amount of talent."

On Tuesday, the Braves promoted Acuna from Class A Advanced Florida, where he posted an .814 OPS with three homers and 19 RBIs in 28 games. In six games with Mississippi, the 19-year-old Venezuelan boasts a .560/.593/.920 slash line, two homers and 10 RBIs.

"This kid is going to be special," Salazar added. "They've thrown him some tough pitches and he's been able to lay off. He's made some real quick adjustments against some really good pitchers. His approach is unbelievable. He's got a good eye and can hit it to every part of the field, it doesn't matter. He's going to be a star in the future."

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Keith Curcio went 4-for-4 with a double and a walk and Levi Hyams drove in a pair for Mississippi.

Shuckers starter Jorge Lopez (2-2), the Brewers' No. 13 prospect, surrendered six runs on six hits and two walks with two strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

Ranked ninth in the Milwaukee system, Mauricio Dubon hit his second homer of the season, singled and stole his 19th and 20th bases for Biloxi.

Michael Leboff is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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