Justin Verlander can no longer join an exclusive club with Don Larsen and Roy Halladay, but he’s still on the verge of leading his team to the ALCS.
Verlander’s no-hit bit ended with two outs in the seventh inning after Yoenis Cespedes hit a hard grounder past shortstop Jhonny Peralta and into center field. Having Jose Iglesias in the game there probably wouldn’t have helped him. With his chance at the no-hitter in the rear view mirror, Verlander quickly bounced back and struck out Seth Smith swinging, so he now has seven scoreless innings under his belt in this decisive Game 5.
The Tigers lead the Athletics 3-0 going into the top of the eighth inning at O.co Coliseum. Oakland has six more outs to keep their season alive.
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.