Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Acuna drives No. 20 to lead off vs. Pirates

August 22, 2018

PITTSBURGH -- Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. resumed his leadoff homer barrage by beginning Wednesday night's 2-1 win over the Pirates with his 20th home run."Every time Ronald comes up there, you're expecting something good to happen," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "It's really been fun to watch."

PITTSBURGH -- Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. resumed his leadoff homer barrage by beginning Wednesday night's 2-1 win over the Pirates with his 20th home run.
"Every time Ronald comes up there, you're expecting something good to happen," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "It's really been fun to watch."

Acuna barreled Trevor Williams' changeup over PNC Park's left-center wall to account for his sixth leadoff homer of the season and fourth within a 13-game span dating back to Aug. 11. Houston's George Springer (6) and St. Louis' Matt Carpenter (8) are the only Major Leaguers with at least six leadoff homers.

Marquis Grissom set the Braves' franchise record when he hit seven leadoff homers in 1996.
"[Acuna] has been carrying the team, especially with that first at-bat," Braves pitcher Julio Teheran said. "It's exciting to see him play."
The Braves have benefited from the decision to move Acuna to the top of their lineup after the All-Star break. The 20-year-old outfielder has enhanced his National League Rookie of the Year credentials while hitting .339 with 13 homers and a 1.164 OPS over the 32 games that have followed.
Acuna joins Eddie Mathews (25 in 1952) and Bob Horner (23 in '78) as the only players in Braves franchise history to hit 20 home runs before their 21st birthday.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.