Braves, newcomer Acuna face Reds' Bailey

Entering the 2018 season, virtually every set of prospect rankings from major outlets considered Acuna to be the game's top overall prospect.

Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies, the two youngest players in the major leagues, homered and combined for five RBIs to lead Atlanta over the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 Thursday and give the Braves a split of the four-game series. While Braves fans have pinned the hopes of the franchise on Acuna already before he's not even faced a major league pitch, perhaps there should be some realistic look at what to expect from Acuna.

White Sox 6, Royals 3 • Matt Davidson hit two of Chicago's five home runs in the first six innings in a win at Kansas City.

Acuna, though, got off to a brutal start in Triple-A Gwinnett, which prompted the Braves to keep the 21-year-old in the minors even longer.

Acuna should immediately slide right into an everyday role for the Braves.

With Acuna now penciled in as the primary left fielder, Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis will occupy the team's other two outfield spots. The Braves will give the nod to 27-year old right-hander Julio Teheran, and the Phillies will send 24-year old right-hander Aaron Nola the the hill. 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.


Many have visions of a Mike Trout-esque season from 2012 (.326 average, 30 home runs, 49 stolen bases).

The winning pitcher was Dan Winkler (1-0), who pitched a scoreless eighth. It was the third consecutive start in which Newcomb has not received a decision.

On Tuesday, the Reds' bullpen blew a four-run lead in the ninth inning, although Cincinnati came back to win 9-7 in 12 innings. "Your first home run in the big leagues is a once-in-a-lifetime moment".

"The Braves are playing good baseball", Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said.

Every Atlanta starter except catcher Kurt Suzuki had at least one hit, including pitcher Sean Newcomb, who also was enjoying watching and being part of the youth movement.

Bailey allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings. "I don't have any particular thoughts to it".


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