Franco continues to slug for M-Braves

Infielder homers in third straight, slam marks seventh May dinger

Mississippi infielder Carlos Franco leads the Southern League with 11 home runs and 38 RBIs. (Mississippi Braves)

By Andrew Battifarano / Staff | May 18, 2017 11:38 PM ET

Carlos Franco has been in Atlanta's system since 2009, but he's never had a month quite like this. 

Franco continued his May home run surge by crushing a go-ahead grand slam to power the Double-A Mississippi Braves to a 6-4 win over Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp on Thursday night at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

Video: Franco crushes grand slam

The infielder has gone yard in three consecutive games and seven times in May -- the most he's hit in any month during his nine-year professional career.  

Franco leads the Southern League with 11 roundtrippers and is one away from a new career high. The native of the Dominican Republic also smacked 11 homers in 134 games with Class A Advanced Carolina in 2015. 

After striking out in his first at-bat in in the second inning, Franco singled to right field off No. 28 Marlins prospect Joe Gunkel in the fourth. 

Gameday box score

Mississippi trailed, 4-1, in the fifth when the 25-year-old stepped up with the bases loaded and two outs. After working the count full, he smacked an offering from lefty James Buckelew (0-3) onto the walkway beyond the right-field bleachers.

Franco added a single up the middle in the eighth off Severino Gonzalez to cap his 12th multi-hit performance this season. 

In 2016, Franco amassed a slash line of .255/.339/.330 with four home runs and 53 RBIs. Now in his second season in the Southern League, he is hitting .293/.358/.560 and leads the Southern League with 38 RBIs.  

MiLB include

Dylan Moore lofted a solo homer in the ninth and Luis Valenzuela added two hits, an RBI and a run scored for Mississippi.  

Braves No. 4 prospect Mike Soroka (4-3) surrendered four runs -- three earned -- on six hits and four walks while striking out five in five innings. Bradley Roney gave up a hit and a walk and fanned three over two scoreless frames for his second save.

No. 27 Marlins prospect John Norwood, David Vidal and Austin Nola had two hits apiece for Jacksonville. 

Andrew Battifarano is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter, @AndrewAtBatt. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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