Braves' Bethancourt homers in third straight
With power surge, Atlanta catching prospect ups average to .367
Christian Bethancourt's new-found power seems to be rubbing off on his teammates.
After hitting five long balls in 99 Minor League games, Bethancourt is looking like a home run derby champ in Arizona. The 20-year-old connected for the third time in three games Tuesday afternoon, hitting a solo drive in the second inning of Surprise's 7-5 walk-off win over Mesa.
Florida's Kevin Mattison hit a two-run walk-off shot in the ninth, Surprise's fourth home run of the day.
Bethancourt, who has four homers in eight games, went deep Oct. 28 against Phoenix and blasted another in his next game at Scottsdale on Oct. 30. He also singled twice Tuesday, raising his average to .367 in the Arizona Fall League.
Surprise used the long ball to build a 5-1 lead by the fourth inning as Bethancourt, former No. 1 overall pick Tim Beckham (Rays) and Joe Terdoslavich (Braves) all left the park. Beckham, who homered for the second straight day, ripped a one-out shot to center in the third, his fourth of the fall. Two batters later, Terdoslavich, who led the Minors with 52 doubles in 2011, added a drive to right-center for a 3-0 edge.
Bethancourt scored on a fielder's choice an inning later before Mattison tripled home Royals prospect Christian Colon for a 5-1 lead.
Mesa steadily chipped away, eventually tying the game in the eighth with a pair of runs. Josh Vitters (Cubs) scored the Solar Sox's first run on a sacrifice fly by Jarek Cunningham (Pirates) in the fourth. Fellow Pittsburgh prospect Robbie Grossman singled and scampered home on a wild pitch by the Rays' Marquis Fleming in the fifth.
Joe Mahoney (Orioles) greeted Rangers reliever Ryan Kelly with a leadoff homer in the sixth before Mesa tacked on a pair in the eighth on back-to-back RBI singles by Baltimore's Xavier Avery and Grossman.
Nathan Adcock (Royals) allowed two hits over three scoreless frames in the start for Surprise. Marlins right-hander Alejandro Ramos (1-0) struck out one and walked one in 1 1/3 frames to pick up the win.
Trey McNutt (Cubs), who started for Mesa, was tagged for three runs on four hits in three frames.
Danny Wild is an editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.