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Braves Minor League Recap: Mahki Backstrom has breakout game

The offensive breakout from Mahki Backstrom included two homers and five RBI.

Michael Harris, Atlanta Braves prospect, takes a swing in a game for the Rome Braves
Michael Harris, Atlanta Braves prospect, takes a swing in a game for the Rome Braves
Image Credit: Mills Fitzner

Yesterday was an interesting one down on the Braves’ farm system as their affiliates went a combined 3-1. Thursday saw Mahki Backstrom have, hopefully, the beginnings of the offensive breakout that we’ve been waiting for as the entire Augusta offense was unstoppable putting up 13 runs. Chadwick Tromp continued his surprisingly strong month of May with yet another homer while Michael Harris and Brandol Mezquita continued to produce at the plate.

Durham Bulls 8, Gwinnett Stripers 7

Box Score

  • Chadwick Tromp, C: 1-5, 3 RBI, HR, 1.158 OPS
  • Phil Gosselin, 3B: 2-4, R, RBI, SB, .753 OPS
  • Braden Shewmake, SS: 0-3, BB, RBI, .821 OPS
  • Bryce Elder, SP: 4 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 6.55 ERA

The Tromp Train kept rolling through Durham as Chadwick Tromp bashed another homer, giving him one in three straight games and seven in just nine games so far in May. Between his surge this month and an injury to Manny Pina, it is looking like he could potentially earn a callup to Atlanta this summer. Phil Gosselin, Alex Dickerson, and Ryan Goins each had multi-hit games. Braden Shewmake was hitless in three at bats, drawing a walk and picking up an RBI, while Greyson Jenista went 1-for-4 with a run and an RBI.

Bryce Elder struggled giving up six runs over four innings. Things started well as he held Durham scoreless for the first three innings while Gwinnett built up a 7-0 lead, but a six-run fourth inning did him in. Connor Johnstone replaced Elder and allowed a run over 1 2/3 innings. Thomas Burrows struck out all four batters he faced. After RJ Alaniz struck out the side in the eighth, Nick Vincent came in for the bottom of the ninth and struck out a batter before allowing the winning run. That run came after eight straight outs were recorded via strikeout, and Gwinnett successfully coughed up a 7-0 lead in an 8-7 loss.

Mississippi Braves 3, Chattanooga Lookouts 2

Box Score

  • Michael Harris, CF: 1-3, RBI, .865 OPS
  • Justin Dean, RF: 2-4, 2B, .768 OPS
  • Alan Rangel, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 5 BB, 6 K, 5.40 ERA

Alan Rangel battled through five innings without great command to keep his team in the game. Rangel walked five and allowed four hits but just two runs. Hayden Deal, Jake Higginbotham and Justin Maese held the Lookouts scoreless over the final four innings.

The offense did just enough to get the win and saw all but two players in the starting lineup collect at least one hit. Justin Dean and Cade Bunnell each had two hits for Mississippi. Michael Harris extended his streak of consecutive games reaching base and was 1-for-3 with an RBI.

Rome Braves 3, Winston-Salem Dash 2

Box Score

  • Justyn-Henry Malloy, 3B: 1-2, R, 2 BB, .855 OPS
  • Landon Stephens, LF: 1-2, R, 3 RBI, BB, HR, .913 OPS
  • Luis De Avila, SP: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K, 4.30 ERA
  • Alec Barger, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 2.35 ERA

Luis De Avila turned in a strong performance with six shutout innings as he allowed just four hits and a walk while striking out six. Trey Riley and Dylan Spain followed De Avila with an inning apiece, each allowing a run in the process, before Alec Barger finished off the game by striking out the side in the ninth.

Landon Stephens homered and drove in all three runs for Rome. Justyn-Henry Malloy went 1-2 with a pair of walks and scored a run.

Augusta GreenJackets 13, Columbia Fireflies 2

Box Score

  • Mahki Backstrom, 1B: 3-5, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2 HR, .672 OPS
  • Geraldo Quintero, 3B: 3-5, 2 R, RBI, HR, .743 OPS
  • Cal Conley, SS: 3-5, 2 R, SB, .708 OPS
  • Brandol Mezquita, CF: 2-5, R, 2B, SB, .905 OPS
  • Jordano Perez, SP: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2.45 ERA

The Augusta offense broke out in a big way Thursday night. Mahki Backstrom has struggled all season, but went 3-for-5 with two homers and picked up five RBI to raise his OPS from .567 to .672 in one game. Brandol Mezquita continued his strong start to the season going 2-for-5 with a double and steal. Cal Conley continued his recent surge with three hits. Geraldo Quintero also had three hits including a homer.

Jordano Perez got the start and allowed two runs over six innings with five hits and didn’t walk a single batter. He only had the one strikeout, but given this was just his second start in full season ball, we’ll take it. James Acuna followed with two scoreless innings where he struck out four hitters and then Isrrael De La Cruz finished things off with a clean ninth.