1-2 punch of Acuna, Albies knocks out Marlins

Acuna (2 HRs) goes deep in 4th straight game; Albies logs 4-hit effort

August 9th, 2019

MIAMI -- It’s no secret and are virtually inseparable. That’s why it should come as no surprise they’ve found themselves raking atop Atlanta’s lineup.

The 1-2 punch combined for three homers to power the Braves to an 8-4 win over the Marlins on Friday night at Marlins Park. It marked the seventh time this season both have gone deep in the same game. Atlanta improved to 6-1 with 68 runs scored in those contests.

“I think they love that,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “They feed off each other all day long when they’re here. I’m sure they enjoy running around the bases together, too.”

Albies, who tallied his third four-hit game of the week, knocked a solo homer in the first to give the Braves an early lead after appearing flat in Thursday’s 9-2 series-opening loss.

Since Albies moved to the second spot in the lineup on July 24, coinciding with ’s trip to the injured list, the Braves have scored 98 runs over 16 games for a 6.1 runs per game average. On the season, Albies is batting .326 with nine doubles, three triples, four homers and 13 RBIs in 21 games as the No. 2 batter.

“I’m happy when he’s in the lineup, period,” Acuna said through an interpreter. “I feel like it’s a privilege for me to be able to watch him play, watch him play with a sense of urgency he does, the style he plays. So for me, it’s just a joy for me to be able to watch him play in general.”

Acuna, meanwhile, recorded his third career multihomer game to give him 32 in 2019, passing Andruw Jones (31, 1998) for second-most dingers by a Braves player in a season before turning 22. He trails just Eddie Mathews (47, 1953).

The 21-year-old slugger has gone deep in four straight games, and seven times in August. He knocked a two-run shot in a five-run fifth and a two-run tater in the ninth. Both came on first pitches.

“He's just getting better every day,” said starter , whose scoreless-innings streak against the Marlins ended at 24 on Starlin Castro’s leadoff homer in the seventh. “I feel like he comes here every day and he just wants to be our guy, and he’s one of our guys. I’m so proud of him, the way he's been carrying the team. Obviously, every time he gets to the plate, we’re expecting something big he’s going to do.

“Ozzie's doing great. He’s been hitting, he’s been carrying the team. Just happy for them. They’ve been carrying the team, and that’s the way we want to play.”

That kind of production from Acuna and Albies also helps take some pressure off veterans like and , who combined to go 1-for-8 on an off night, in the middle of the order.

“I’m like you guys, I don’t know what more to say about him,” Snitker said of Acuna. “He and Ozzie both. My god. Hopefully they keep it up for two more months.”