Earlier today, Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a home run to lead off the game for the Braves in their eventual win over the Marlins. Later that night, Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a home run to lead off the game for the Braves in their eventual win over the Marlins.
No, you aren’t seeing double but it would be understandable if you were dealing with a case of Deja Vu, as Ronald Acuña had himself a great day at the plate over the two games. Just like in the afternoon opener, Acuña wasted no time in getting the Braves on the board. This time, he took the first pitch he received from Merandy Gonzalez and deposited it into the seats out in center field for a solo home run.
Acuña’s feat of power at the beginning of both games put him in some elite company. He became only the fourth leadoff hitter in baseball history to hit a leadoff dinger to start off both games of a doubleheader. One of the other hitters was Rickey Henderson and I’d say that you’re doing pretty well if you’re in company with two Hall of Famers — including the greatest leadoff hitter to ever play the game.
Players to hit a leadoff homer in both ends of a doubleheader— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) August 14, 2018
Brady Anderson (8/21/99)
Rickey Henderson (7/6/93)
Harry Hopper (5/30/13)
Just like in the afternoon game, Acuña’s dinger set the tone offensively for Atlanta, as they poured on the offense for the rest of the night as Miami was mostly powerless to deal with what Mike Foltynewicz was giving them tonight. In fact, in a further case of Deja Vu, Miami lost their starting third baseman due to injury in the early stages of the game. This time, it was Miguel Rojas who suffered from unfortunate injury luck — this time, Rojas was hustling to make it from first to third on a routine base hit, but Acuña picked up on what Rojas was trying to do and threw him out at third base.
Unfortunately for Rojas, he injured himself sliding into third base and by this point, the Marlins were down 2-0 and probably figured that this was going to be another bad night at the ballpark.
By the time Miami started to show some life in this one, they were already down 3-0 after Freddie Freeman added to the Braves’ lead with a single in the fifth inning. Once the sixth inning rolled around, Mike Foltynewicz was rolling through the game without much of an issue. Then he issued a one-out walk to J.T. Realmuto and then Starlin Castro followed that up with a double to put the Marlins on the board. Fortunately, Folty immediately mitigated the damage and exited the inning with that single blemish on his record.
In fact, Mike Foltynewicz must have really felt some type of way about giving up that run, because he decided to take matters into his own hands in order to get the run back. After Johan Camargo led off the bottom of the sixth with a double, the Marlins retired Atlanta’s next two batters and then intentionally walked Dansby Swanson to bring Folty to the plate. To the shock of almost everybody in the ballpark and those who were following along at home, Folty made the Marlins pay for walking Swanson. He looped one into shallow right field and that was enough to easily plate Camargo and send Swanson from first to third.
The look on Folty’s face as he was at first base told the entire story.
Later on in that same frame, Ronald Acuña returned to torment the Marlins once again as he brought home Swanson to make it 5-1 Atlanta. Acuña finished the entire day with five hits, five runs, five RBIs and those two aforementioned dingers. His hitting as of late has put him in yet another club with some lovely company to be part of — again, if you’re in company with Miguel Cabrera, then you might be alright as a baseball player.
The only other player under the age of 21 to homer in four straight over that stretch is Miguel Cabrera, who went deep five times in a four-game stretch during April of 2004.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) August 14, 2018
While the rookie was busy doing amazing things, Freddie Freeman was busy being Freddie Freeman, which is to say that he was providing steadily great production and capped off Atlanta’s lovely doubleheader at the plate with a home run.
That made it 6-1 Braves and that’s how it would end. Mike Foltynewicz took advantage of facing off against a weak Marlins lineup and ended up lasting eight innings while only giving up five hits and that sole run, with seven strikeouts as well. Dan Winkler picked up the baton in the ninth and calmly took the Braves to the finish line as they picked up their 66th win of the season.
The Marlins are the Marlins, but it’s still difficult to win both games of a doubleheader. The Braves accomplished this feat and they should be very satisfied with what was a very good day for the team in all facets of the game.