Acuna hurt in testy affair as Braves sweep Marlins
August 17 2018 12:10 AM
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Atlanta Braves left fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. is hit by the first pitch of the game against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at SunTrust Park. PICTURE: USA TODAY Sports

Reuters/Atlanta

Red-hot rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. departed early due to injury, but the Atlanta Braves still finished a four-game sweep over the visiting Miami Marlins with a 5-2 win Wednesday at SunTrust Park.
Acuna, who had led off the previous three games with home runs and had gone deep in five straight, was hit by the first pitch of the contest, setting off a benches-clearing incident that led to the ejection of Miami starter Jose Urena. 
Acuna was plunked by Urena’s 97 mph fastball just above the left elbow. The thinly veiled intention of the pitch caused the Braves to run onto the field, with manager Brian Snitker – who was ejected – and first base coach Eric Young Sr. screaming at Urena. No punches were thrown. The umpiring crew conferred and decided to eject Urena. Both teams were given a warning to prevent any future issues. Acuna ran the bases and took his position in the outfield in the second inning, but was subsequently removed. Because his only plate appearance resulted in being hit by a pitch, Acuna’s consecutive homer streak will remain intact. 
After the game, Snitker said Acuna exited due to cramps in his arm but that the team would know more about the 20-year-old’s condition Thursday.
After falling behind 2-0, the Braves came back behind the offense of Charlie Culberson and Dansby Swanson to win their fifth straight game. Atlanta (68-51) is a season-best 17 games over .500. 
The Acuna-Urena incident overshadowed another solid start by Atlanta right-hander Kevin Gausman (7-9). He allowed two runs on four hits and two walks in six innings. He is 2-1 since joining Atlanta via a trade with Baltimore.
The Atlanta bullpen did not allow a baserunner over the final three innings. Jonny Venters and Brad Brach each worked a scoreless inning, and A.J. Minter pitched the ninth to earn his 11th save. Culberson was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and scored two runs. Swanson was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer, his 10th, and three RBIs.
The losing pitcher was Jarlin Garcia (1-2). He allowed three runs, including Swanson’s homer, in his only inning.
The Marlins scored their runs on an RBI single by Brian Anderson in the first inning and an opposite-field homer from Starlin Castro, his 10th, in the fourth.


Ramos’ stellar debut 
powers Phillies over Red Sox 
Wilson Ramos had three extra-base hits in his Phillies debut, leading Philadelphia past the visiting Boston Red Sox 7-4 Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
Boston’s five-game winning streak ended, with the Red Sox taking just their third loss in 18 games. Philadelphia won for the second time in six games.
Ramos had two doubles, one triple, three runs and three RBIs as the Phillies split the two-game series with the Red Sox. The 31-year-old catcher, acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on July 31 despite nursing a hamstring injury, was activated off the 10-day disabled list pregame Wednesday. He had been out since July 15.
Phillies starter Vince Velasquez struggled through 2 1/3 innings, giving up four hits and three runs before being lifted for Hector Neris. 
Tommy Hunter (4-2) earned the win in relief, retiring the only batter he faced. Nick Williams and Justin Bour each added two hits for the Phillies.
Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi gave up seven hits and three runs (one earned) in five innings. Joe Kelly (4-1) took the loss, yielding a run in his lone inning.
Brock Holt had a pair of hits for the Red Sox. In the third, Mitch Moreland cleared the bases with a three-run double to deep left-center field for a quick 3-0 Red Sox advantage. The Phillies rallied with three runs in the fourth to tie the game. Ramos recorded his first hit as a Phillie with a double off the wall in right, scoring Rhys Hoskins. Odubel Herrera added an RBI groundout and Carlos Santana tied the game with an RBI single to right.
Boston appeared to take a 4-3 lead in the sixth on a bizarre play. Pinch hitter Steve Pearce hit a grounder to second, and Cesar Hernandez fielded and threw to Bour at first. Bour had to stretch to make the play and drag his foot on the bag, which video replay confirmed, negating the go-ahead run.
Scott Kingery’s sacrifice fly to right did give the Phillies a 4-3 lead in the sixth as Ramos scored. Ramos had tripled to lead off the inning. The Phillies extended their lead to 7-3 with three more runs in the seventh on a two-run double by Ramos and an RBI single by Maikel Franco.
Boston loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth against Phillies reliever Pat Neshek. Mookie Betts managed an RBI infield single with two outs to close the gap to 7-4. Seranthony Dominguez, the eighth Phillies pitcher, then got Andrew Benintendi to ground out to first on the first pitch to end the threat.




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