Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies go deep as youthful Braves beat Reds

by Leon Thompson April 28, 2018, 10:58
Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies go deep as youthful Braves beat Reds

Universally considered one of the top if not the top prospect in baseball, the 20-year-old tore through the three highest levels of the minors last season, hitting.325/.374/.522 with 21 homers and 44 steals in 139 games.

Ronald Acuna Jr., rated the majors' best prospect by multiple scouting outlets and the victor of multiple minor league player of the year awards last season, is a minor leaguer no more.

Second baseman Scooter Gennett, who hit 27 home runs for the Reds in 2017 but had not hit one this season, hit two on Tuesday, including a walkoff two-run shot in the 12th inning to give host Cincinnati a 9-7 win over the Braves. The Braves rallied with single runs in the eighth and ninth off Reds reliever Kevin Shackelford to win 5-4. The 21-year-old Albies hit a two-run homer in the fifth and an RBI double in the ninth. The Braves, however, understandably appear to have wanted to keep Acuna in Triple-A long enough to delay his free agency by a full year. Acuna then scored an insurance run when Dansby Swanson singled to left. He was outstanding in both of his starts against the Braves this season, limiting them to three runs in 11.1 innings, and he stands at 5-2 with a stifling 2.04 ERA in nine career starts against the division rivals. It was the third consecutive start in which Newcomb has not received a decision.

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Ozzie Albies' prolific start has earned him a spot in Braves history, and he has time to try and push that to rewrite the Major League Baseball record book too. Albies, who was playing in his 24th game of the season, has three more games to play this month to chase down the all-time record of 23 set by Jermaine Dye with the Royals in 2000. Freddie Freeman added three doubles while Ender Inciarte, Ryan Flaherty and starting pitcher Sean Newcomb added base hits of their own to finish off the offense for Atlanta in the victory.

The winning pitcher was Sam Freeman (1-1), who threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Cesar Hernandez, Maikel Franco and Drew Hutchison each contributed base hits of their own in the defeat. Scott Schebler and Billy Hamilton were 1-for-2 against him, while Scooter Gennett was 0-for-3 and Joey Votto was 0-for-1. "I don't have any particular thoughts to it".

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