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Acuna powers 6-4 win against Washington

The Braves’ star outfielder found his power stroke again, with two doubles and homer.

Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves Photo by Brett Davis/Getty Images

In search of a series win and a seventh straight win overall, the Braves turned to a second straight rookie starting pitcher, this time Jared Shuster.

The game did not start ideally for Shuster, as he gave up a triple that just eluded Ronald Acuna’s glove. A near homer turned into a sac fly as Michael Harris made a nice play to catch it against the wall. Shuster gave up another single from there, but got out of the inning with another two flyouts. Fortunately for Atlanta, Ronald Acuna did Ronald Acuna things and smoked the first pitch for a ground rule double, reaching third and scoring on two consecutive deep flyouts from Matt Olson and Austin Riley.

Shuster allowed a leadoff single in the second, but a ground ball double play and a hard hit groundout provided the three outs he needed. The Braves’ offense really showed up in the second, as d’Arnaud led the inning off with a walk. Ozuna blasted a homer to give the Braves their first lead of the evening.

Kevin Pillar hit a one out double of his own and was brought home by a laser beam of an opposite field homer at 112.6 MPH off the bat from Ronald Acuna to give the Braves a commanding 5-1 lead after 2 innings.

Each pitcher settled in after that explosive inning from Atlanta’s offense, as the quality of contact significantly declined over the next two innings, even as there weren’t many strikeouts to be found. Shuster ran into some trouble in the fifth, however, as he allowed two singles, albeit one that was hit softly, and a Lane Thomas double scored two, halving the lead to 5-3. After two dominant innings from Jesse Chavez, coming into the sixth to relieve Jared Shuster who had allowed two singled to start the inning, Kevin Pillar hit a one out single in the seventh. Ronald hit a double to right field that was nearly a homer, but scored Pillar nonetheless, providing some important insurance for Atlanta, making the score 6-3.

Shuster produced fine for the Braves, but no strikeouts over 5.0 innings against this Nationals lineup is not great, although it is to his credit that he didn’t walk any batters or allow any homers either. He continued his trend of struggling to strike out major league hitters, although the absence of walks is encouraging at least, as he has walked a high number of batters this season as well. This is still not a profile that would seemingly project well for long term success at the major league level.

A strong inning for Joe Jimenez in the eighth set up AJ Minter for a chance to get the save after a scoreless eighth for the Atlanta offense. AJ gave up a leadoff homer that wasn’t exactly smoked, before ending the game with two lineouts and a pop out.

Join us again tomorrow at 1:35 PM ET, as the Braves attempt to sweep the Nationals at home before heading to Detroit.

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