Acuna flashing star power for M-Braves

Braves prospect plates two runs, reaches base safely three times

Ronald Acuna is batting .319/.367/.541 with 26 RBIs and 18 stolen bases across two levels this season. (Cliff Welch/

By Michael Avallone / | May 14, 2017 12:53 AM

Being promoted to Double-A at 19 years old really isn't supposed to be this easy.

Just don't tell that to Ronald Acuna.

The No. 7 Braves prospect's bases-loaded walk with two outs forced in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning as Double-A Mississippi outlasted Biloxi, 6-4, in a back-and-forth game on Saturday night at MGM Park.

Acuna also singled and had an RBI triple for his fourth multi-hit effort in five games with Mississippi. 

Gameday box score

The M-Braves squandered one-run leads in the seventh and eighth innings, setting the stage for Acuna in the ninth. Keith Curcio and Connor Lien sandwiched singles around a Dylan Moore strikeout. Biloxi reliever Angel Ventura uncorked a wild pitch that moved both runners into scoring position and then issued an intentional walk to Jared James.

The right-hander got Luis Valenzuela to pop out before walking Acuna on five pitches to force in the go-ahead run. Mississippi added another run when Ventura issued a second consecutive free pass to Braves No. 9 prospect Travis Demeritte.

Video: Mississippi's Acuna walks to force in the run

Acuna, who won't turn 20 until December, spent barely a month with Class A Advanced Florida, where he batted .287/.336/.478 with 11 extra-base hits, 19 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 28 games. He kicked off his Southern League stint with a home run on the first pitch he saw, culminating in consecutive three-hit games. After going 0-for-4 on Thursday, the native of Venezuela responded with two more multi-hit games and is batting .500 with the M-Braves.

He reached on an infield single and stole his fourth base for Mississippi in the first on Saturday. After striking out in his second plate appearance, he delivered an RBI triple to right in the fifth that snapped a 1-1 tie. He flied out to center in the eighth.

Video: Mississippi's Acuna delivers run-scoring triple

Demeritte went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, his fourth in six games. The 22-year-old is hitting .462 with four home runs and seven RBIs during a seven-game hitting streak. The hot stretch raised his average 45 points to .283, the highest it's been since April 14. 

MiLB include

Clint Coulter tied the game, 4-4, with a solo homer in the eighth for Biloxi.

Wes Parsons made his first start of the season after eight relief appearances with Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett. He allowed a run on one hit with two walks and two strikeouts in a season-high four innings.

Michael Avallone is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @MavalloneMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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