Braves’ Acuna pulled after not running out single
Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. was removed from Sunday’s victory against the Dodgers after he stood at the plate admiring a long fly ball that did not leave the park.
Acuna, an All-Star outfielder for the NL East leaders, was pulled before the fifth inning after failing to run out a drive off the right field wall in the third. The ball bounced off the wall for a long single. Acuna likely would have had an easy double if he had hustled from home plate.
Manager Brian Snitker followed Acuna into the tunnel for a conversation during the fourth inning before Adam Duvall entered the game in left field in the fifth, with Rafael Ortega moving from left to center field.
“He didn’t run. You’ve got to run,” Snitker said. “That’s not going to be acceptable here. The name on the front is a lot more important than the name on the back. … You can’t let your teammates down.”
Snitker also said Acuna handled his decision maturely and “knew he screwed up.” Acuna is expected to be back in the lineup for the Braves’ next game Tuesday against the Marlins.
Acuna, 21, said through a translator that there was “no excuse” for the baserunning mistake and that he respected Snitker’s decision.
The move by Snitker came in the decisive game of a three-game series between the teams with the National League’s best records. The Braves trailed 3-1 when Acuna was pulled, but Ortega’s sixth-inning grand slam lifted Atlanta to a 5-3 victory.
Acuna just missed robbing Cody Bellinger of a three-run homer in the first with a leaping try in center field.
Acuna is hitting .296 with 35 home runs and 85 RBIs, and he leads the NL with 29 stolen bases and 104 runs scored.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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