Detroit’s bats have finally, desperately come alive.
After leadoff singles from Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez in the bottom of the fifth inning, shortstop-turned-outfielder Jhonny Peralta slugged a Dan Straily fastball over the left field fence at Comerica Park, tying this ALDS Game 4 at 3-3. A’s left fielder Yoenis Cespedes climbed high atop the wall and nearly made a play on the ball, but it sailed past.
Straily was working on a no-hitter through four before Fielder’s fifth-inning single. Tigers starter Doug Fister has struggled but is still in the game as the top of the sixth gets underway in downtown Detroit.
The Tigers are down 2-1 in the best-of-five ALDS and trying to stave off elimination.
The Braves and Marlins have some bad blood, especially concerning Ronald Acuña Jr. Around this time last year, José Ureña intentionally threw at Acuña in the first at-bat of a game, leading to a benches-clearing incident. Acuña was hit on the elbow and exited the game but was ultimately fine. Acuña’s crime? Just being good at baseball. At the time, he had homered in five consecutive games, including three games against the Marlins.
In 2019, the first-place Braves and last-place Marlins have mostly minded their own business. The Marlins, however, can certainly keep a grudge it appears. With his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night in Atlanta, Marlins starter Elieser Hernández hit Acuña in the hip.
Home plate umpire Alan Porter issued warnings to both dugouts. Braves manager Brian Snitker wasn’t happy about his side having received a warning for no reason, and was ejected by first base umpire Mark Wegner. Hernández would hit Adeiny Hechavarría with a pitch in the fourth inning — seemingly unintentionally — and was not ejected. Other than that, there were no more incidents and cooler heads prevailed.
Acuña finished 1-for-4 in the Braves’ 5-1 win. Freddie Freeman hit two home runs and knocked in four runs.