Double-A Tennessee pulled off a dramatic comeback win Saturday night as they scored nine times in the seventh and eighth innings to defeat Biloxi, 10-9.
At the center of the Smokies' late-inning rallies was third baseman Jeimer Candelario, who went 4-for-5 at the plate with a pair of doubles and a go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the eighth en route to driving in a career-high seven runs.
Candelario, the Cubs' No. 7 prospect, started the scoring for Tennessee when he ripped an RBI double in the bottom of the first inning, and he picked up his second knock of the game with a leadoff single in the sixth. In the seventh, he delivered a two-run double to center field to cap a four-run Smokies outburst and help the team close the deficit to 7-5.
After the Shuckers pushed across a run in the top of the eighth, Tennessee came right back to score a run on a wild pitch before loading the bases with a pair of two-out walks ahead of Candelario. The 22-year-old switch-hitter made Biloxi pay for the free passes as he blasted Stephen Kohlscheen's 2-1 pitch off of the right field foul pole for a go-ahead grand slam.
MILB Video - Title: Candelario's grand slam - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=724487483
"I always knew it was going to stay fair," Candelario told MiLB.com after the game. "I didn't pull it that much, and I got a good swing on it, so I was just waiting for it to either hit the foul pole, or just go over. You always need to wait, but I knew it was going to be fair.
"When you get in that situation, you just gotta focus on doing your job," he added. "When he walked [Cubs No. 18 prospect Mark Zagunis], I knew I had to step up. I was just ready for a mistake and just needed to be ready for the fastball, and when you put a good swing on it, things take care of themselves."
Candelario raised his average to .218 from .197 with the four-hit performance, and he now has three home runs, 15 doubles and 20 RBIs in 40 games for Tennessee.
The rest of the best performances from top prospects Saturday:
• No. 42 overall prospect David Dahl (Rockies' No. 3) and No. 44 overall prospect Ryan McMahon's (No. 4) back-to-back home runs in the third inning were the difference in Double-A Hartford's 5-3 win over New Hampshire. Dahl's homer, a two-run shot, was his 11th of the season, giving him a share of the Eastern League lead, while McMahon went deep for the first time in 2016 as part of a 3-for-4 showing at the plate. Center fielder Raimel Tapia (No. 6) also collected three hits and scored two runs out of the leadoff spot for the Yard Goats.
• No. 68 overall prospect Archie Bradley (D-backs' No. 2) turned in his best start of the season for Triple-A Reno as he struck out nine hitters over a season-high eight scoreless innings in a win against Omaha. The 23-year-old right-hander has made five straight quality starts for the Aces, and he's logged at least seven innings in each of his past three turns. On the season, Bradley is 5-1 (seven starts) with a 1.99 ERA and a 47/18 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 40 2/3 innings.
MILB Video - Title: Bradley's ninth strikeout - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=724565683
• No. 89 overall prospect Bobby Bradley (Indians' No. 3) went 2-for-5 with his Carolina League leading 10th home run, but it wasn't enough to keep Class A Advanced Lynchburg from falling to Myrtle Beach. In addition to pacing the circuit in home runs, the 19-year-old first baseman also has the most RBIs (40), the second-most walks (32) and ranks fifth in both slugging (.514) and OPS (.896).
MILB Video - Title: Bradley launches his 10th homer of the year - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=723723483
• No. 90 overall prospect Alex Jackson (Mariners' No. 1) went 2-for-3 with a solo home run and two runs scored in Class A Clinton's win over Burlington. The 2014 No. 6 overall Draft pick has now homered twice in three games since being assigned to Clinton on Thursday. The 20-year-old outfielder is looking to get back on track after he hit just .207/.318/.365 with eight home runs last season in 76 games between Clinton and Class A Short Season Everett.
• Reds No. 6 prospect Keury Mella was sharp yet again for Class A Advanced Daytona as he matched his season high with eight strikeouts while firing seven innings of two-run ball (one earned) in a win against Charlotte. After he was rocked for four runs in 3 1/3 innings in his season debut for the Tortugas, Mella, 22, has pitched to a 2.02 ERA in 49 innings across his past eight starts.
• Rays No. 9 prospect Jacob Faria picked up his first win of 2016 for Double-A Montgomery as he fanned a season-high 11 batters over seven innings of one-run, one-hit ball in a win against Birmingham. He did not issue a free pass in the outing -- his first walk-less start of the season -- while throwing 59 of his 90 pitches for strikes. After scuffling during April (6.12 ERA in 25 IP), the 22-year-old right-hander has rebounded in May to post a 2.77 ERA with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings over four starts.
MILB Video - Title: Faria records 11th strikeout - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=724288583
• Twins No. 10 prospect Adam Walker hit a career-high three home runs and drove in five runs to lead Triple-A Rochester past Durham, 12-2. The 24-year-old outfielder -- who has lead his leagues in home runs in each of his three full seasons -- is now tied atop the International League leaderboard with nine home runs, five of which have come in his past three games. Overall, he's hitting .240/.314/.504 with 61 strikeouts (43.6 percent strikeout rate) through 35 games for the Red Wings.
MILB Video - Title: Walker caps three-homer night - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=723488983
• Marcos Diplan and Freddy Peralta, the Brewers' Nos. 19 and 26 prospects, have been outstanding this season as part of Class A Wisconsin's piggyback starting rotation. That was the case once again on Friday, when the 19-year-old righties allowed a combined one earned run on five hits while striking out 15 batters in a win over Kane County. Diplan piled up seven strikeouts over five innings of three-hit ball to pick up the win, and he's now 5-1 with a 1.56 ERA and a 45/19 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 34 2/3 innings on the season. Peralta, meanwhile, sealed the victory for the Timber Rattlers by striking out a season-high eight batters over the game's final four innings. He owns a 2.01 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings.
MILB Video - Title: Diplan fans his seventh batter of the game - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=725261183
• Marlins No. 23 prospect Austin Brice's resurgence continued Saturday as he pitched Double-A Jacksonville past Pensacola with 5 2/3 scoreless frames -- his fourth scoreless start in nine turns for the Suns this season. He scattered five hits and walked one while striking out six. The 23-year-old right-hander has fared considerably better this season in his return to the Southern League, where he's posted a 1.99 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP in 49 2/3 innings while holding opposing hitters to a .205 average.
MILB Video - Title: Brice fans Pensacola's Blandino - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=725280783
• Nationals No. 30 prospect Chris Bostick fell a homer shy of the cycle in Double-A Harrisburg's win over Bowie, finishing 3-for-3 with three runs scored and a pair of stolen bases. The 23-year-old second baseman is having a strong campaign back in the Eastern League, hitting .290/.348/.414 with 11 extra-base hits, five steals and a vastly improved 11/28 walk-to-strikeout ratio through 39 games.
MILB Video - Title: Bostick legs out a stand-up triple - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=725277183