Yordano Ventura became good friends with Oscar Taveras while the two were playing in the Double-A Texas League and they had made plans to spend time together this winter in their native country, the Dominican Republic. “But I guess not,” Ventura said solemnly to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com on Monday afternoon. “God had a different plan.”
Ventura is starting for the Royals in Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday night against the Giants and will dedicate the outing to Taveras, who died in a car crash Sunday alongside his girlfriend Edilia Arvelo. More from MLB.com …
Scrawled on his spikes and on his glove will be the No. 18 and the initials “R.I.P.” in memory of countryman Oscar Taveras, the 22-year-old Cardinals outfielder who died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic on Sunday.
“It’s going to be hard to put that aside,” Ventura said in Spanish on the eve of the most important start of his life, “but I’m going to throw everything I have out there. I’m dedicating that game to him.”
Two banks of lights in right field at Busch Stadium have been left on Tuesday night in memory of Oscar.
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.