Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong breezed through the top of the first inning on 13 pitches, and then the offense got to work. Gregor Blanco worked a lead-off walk, then advanced to second base on a wild pitch. After Joe Panik popped out, Blanco swiped third base, setting up an easy run-scoring opportunity for Buster Posey.
Royals lefty Jason Vargas pitched to Posey carefully, however, ultimately walking him to bring up Hunter Pence with a potential rally-ending double play possibility. Pence indeed hit into what looked to be an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play, but was just quick enough to beat the throw to first base, allowing Blanco to score the game’s first run. Vargas was able to get out of the inning by striking out Pablo Sandoval on his 27th pitch.
Vogelsong had a slightly tougher top of the second as rain began to fall at AT&T Park in San Francisco, but he worked around a two-out single by Salvador Perez. He’s thrown a total of 28 pitches.
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.