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Ronald Acuña Jr. keys Braves’ comeback in 6-4 win

A pinch-hit double by Ronald Acuña Jr. in the seventh inning sparked a Braves’ comeback in a 6-4 win over the Marlins.

Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Ronald Acuña Jr. came off the bench to key an Atlanta Braves’ comeback in a 6-4 win over the Miami Marlins Friday night at Truist Park.

Ian Anderson and Trevor Rogers locked up in a pitcher’s duel early. Anderson allowed a one-out single to Garrett Cooper in the first, but he was erased as Jorge Soler grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Anderson retired six straight after Cooper reached before issuing a two-out walk to Miguel Rojas in the third. However, he got Jon Berti to fly out to end the inning.

Anderson worked around a one-out walk to Soler in the fourth and then struck out the side in the fifth.

Rogers matched him pitch for pitch as he retired the first 12 hitters he faced before Austin Riley connected with a long solo shot to lead off the fifth to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead.

The Braves weren’t finished after Riley’s homer. Travis d’Arnaud doubled off the glove of Rojas at short and then came in to score on a one-out double by William Contreras to make it 2-0.

That would bring Travis Demeritte to the plate who singled home Contreras to snap a 34 at-bat hitless streak to extend the lead to 3-0.

Anderson retired six straight hitters before Berti reached on an infield single. Atlanta challenged the call and it looked like Anderson might have clipped the bag before Berti, but the play was upheld. Berti stole second and then came around to score on a long home run by Cooper to cut Atlanta’s lead to 3-2. Anderson then walked Soler but came back and struck out Joey Wendle for the second out. However, he was unable to escape as Jesus Aguilar connected on a two-run shot to left to give the Marlins a 4-3 lead. Jackson Stephens took over and struck out Brian Anderson to bring the inning to a merciful end.

Things fell apart quick for Anderson who cruised through the first five innings but was unable to escape the sixth. He allowed four hits, three walks and four runs in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out five while throwing 100 pitches.

Steven Okert walked Matt Olson to lead off the seventh. Contreras lined out to third for the first out before Okert struck out Adam Duvall. Brian Snitker then sent Ronald Acuña Jr. to the plate to pinch-hit for Demeritte and Don Mattingly countered with right-hander Anthony Bass. Acuña fell behind 1-2 but then lined a double into the left field corner that scored Olson all the way from first to tie the game.

Acuña was out of the starting lineup for the third straight game due to a sore quad. Snitker said before the game that Acuña was feeling better and that he was going to test it out during the pregame. He must have passed all of those tests.

Bass then walked Swanson to put runners at first and second and Albies made him pay with a bloop single to left that scored both runners to put Atlanta back in front 6-4.

Swanson scored thanks to some good base running and a lackadaisical play by Soler in left.

Snitker sent Stephens back out for the eighth and he retired both Cooper and Soler before giving way to A.J. Minter who struck out pinch-hitter Bryan De La Cruz to end the inning. Kenley Jansen retired the side in the ninth to nail down the win.

The Braves get a much-needed and satisfying win after giving up the lead. Atlanta improves to 22-24 on the season. The series will continue Saturday with Tucker Davidson matching up against Sandy Alcantara.