With AP Photos.Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies, the two youngest players in the major leagues, both homered and combined for five RBIs to lead Atlanta over the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 and give the Braves a split of the four-game series.
But this was likely Atlanta's play all along, for Acuna to bide his time in the minors (no matter his numbers) until he could be added to the major league roster with an extra season (2024) of organizational control.
Acuña's first career home run, which came on a fat Homer Bailey 3-1 slider, traveled an estimated 416 feet, landing in the second deck of Great American Ballpark. He allowed five hits and walked five yet didn't surrender a run. About the only Braves batter with a history against him is Freddie Freeman, who is 4-for-14 with an RBI.
Acuna jumped three levels in the minors in 2017, going from Class A to Gwinnett with a batting average of.325 and 21 home runs along the way.
Acuna has the ability to provide excitement to a game through his blazing speed on the basepaths or his impressive raw power at the plate. Preston Tucker has been holding down the fort in left field and performed admirably as a stopgap, but his bat has cooled substantially since a hot start to the season (.514 OPS over his past 44 PAs).More news: Fan Posts Last Photos Of Avicii Before His Untimely Death
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"I just kind of react to the situation", Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said.
Every Atlanta starter except catcher Kurt Suzuki had at least one hit, including pitcher Sean Newcomb. "We have a lot of chemistry".
Newcomb gave up four runs, five hits and three walks in six innings.
After going 1 for 5 in his Major League Baseball debut on Wednesday, Acuna turned on a Homer Bailey fastball in the second inning against the Reds, blasting a 416-foot home run into the second deck.
Reds: 3B Eugenio Suarez was activated from the 10-day DL after recovering from a broken right thumb sustained April 8 when he was hit by a pitch from Pittsburgh's Jameson Taillon. The Reds selected the contract of INF-OF Rosell Herrera from Triple-A Louisville and optioned OF Phillip Ervin and INF Cliff Pennington to the International League farm team. The Braves' ace has been sharp in three straight starts, and he is carrying a 4.00 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP to go with a 1-1 record in 27 innings logged.