Friday was the start of the second series of the season between the Marlins and the Braves, but the first with Ronald Acuña Jr. on the active roster. Acuña was still on the injured list during their previous matchup as he was still rehabbing from an ACL injury suffered in the middle of the 2021 season. He collapsed while pursuing a Jazz Chisholm Jr. hit, resulting in a inside-the-park homer.
Acuña missed the remainder of that season. Since making his return recently, the Venezuelan outfielder has been putting up the same great numbers we’re used to seeing from him (.292 BA, .424 OBP, .479 SLG, .903 OPS, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 14 H).
Which leads us to May 20. This was Acuña’s first visit to Miami since the injury.
Acuña has crushed the Marlins in head-to-head play since reaching the big leagues. There has also been personal beef between them dating back to his rookie year. It started with a José Ureña hit by pitch that even Marlins fans can admit was probably intentional.
Since then, Acuña has been hit by Marlins pitches five other times. Sounds like a lot, but when you put it in the right context like Bally Sports Florida did on the television broadcast, maybe not:
Isaac Azout of Fish Stripes was on site for the series opener on Friday. As far as he could tell, there weren’t any problems between Acuña and the Marlins players before, during or after the game. The interaction between him and Jazz when Acuña stole second base just looked like a simple conversation.
Acuña, the Braves leadoff hitter, was at the plate 5 times:
- 1st inning (vs. Trevor Rogers)—double
- 2nd inning (vs. Trevor Rogers)—walk
- 4th inning (vs. Trevor Rogers)—single
- 6th inning (vs. Louis Head)—strikeout looking
- 8th inning (vs. Dylan Floro)—fly out
According to Braves manager Brian Snitker, Acuña is going to be the DH for all 3 games in the series because of the artificial turf at LoanDepot Park. His highlights will be limited to what he does with the bat and on the bases.
Isaac Azout’s recap of Friday’s Marlins loss is up in our game coverage section. The probable starters for game two are Elieser Hernandez and breakout right-hander Kyle Wright. Sunday it’s Sandy Alcantara vs. Ian Anderson in what is expected to be a pitchers’ duel.