Mitchell powers Quad Cities to another win

Astros prospect has homers in four straight games, 12 RBIs in last five

Six of Ronnie Mitchell's seven home runs this season have come in the outfielder's last 10 games. (Sean Flynn Photography)

By Mark Emery / | May 31, 2014 12:43 AM ET

Ronnie Mitchell doesn't take much credit for his accomplishments.

When he hits the ball out, it's because the pitcher made a mistake. When he drives in runners, it's only because they got on base in the first place.

While all of that might be true, Mitchell is clearly doing something right. On Friday, the Astros prospect hit a grand slam, giving him homers in four straight games and powering Class A Quad Cities to a 7-3 win over visiting Beloit.

Six of Mitchell's seven roundtrippers this year have come in the last 10 games.

"I'm not able to explain it," Mitchell said, "but I'm just happy to be able to come through for the team."

The 22-year-old outfielder's streak began with a two-run blast on Tuesday. He hit a solo shot on Wednesday and went deep with one aboard again on Thursday. All three of those dingers came in the seventh inning. Friday's slam occurred in the first, and it pushed the River Bandits' lead to five en route to a fourth straight win.

"I was just happy to be able to get our pitcher a big lead so he could pitch with some confidence, and [Edison] Frias did great tonight," Mitchell said.

After the first two hitters were retired in the bottom of the first, Brett Phillips doubled and scored on Chase McDonald's single. Brian Holberton singled and Tyler White was hit by a pitch, bringing up Mitchell.

"The guy [Snappers starter Lou Trivino] was leaving some pitches up in the zone, and with two strikes he hung a changeup," said Mitchell, who hit his last grand slam as a 9-year-old. "I was able to stay back and put the barrel on it and it went out for a home run."

The Dallas native finished 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and a strikeout. He has hit safely in five straight games, during which he has collected 12 RBIs.

"That's kudos to our offense in general," Mitchell said. "We're really on a hot streak right now. Guys up and down the lineup are taking great swings at the plate, going gap-to-gap, so I think it's just more of, you know, that's how our offense is doing right now. Not just me, but a lot of guys are hitting really well."

In 27 games, Mitchell owns a .286/.350/.549 slash line with 22 RBIs in addition to his seven long balls. A strained oblique muscle suffered this spring delayed the start of his season until May 1. Next month, he turns 23.

The 2013 38th-round pick spent last year with short-season Tri-City, where he posted a .256/.317/.360 slash line with two homers and 30 RBIs across 59 games.

"I just take it a day at a time," Mitchell said. "I just show up to the ballpark, play hard, prepare and whatever happens happens."

The Dallas Baptist University product is the first River Bandit to homer in four straight games since at least 1998. He said he won't mind when the streak comes to an end, as long as the team keeps winning.

"I just try to take good swings at good pitches," Mitchell said. "Home runs are pretty much on mistake pitches up in the zone. So I'm just going to continue looking up in the zone and if you see a pitch up, take a swing and the results are what they are."

On the other side, Melvin Mercedes led Beloit with two RBIs. The A's prospect went 3-for-4 with a pair of triples.

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

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