Wednesday’s match-up between the Braves and Nationals just reached its midpoint but Ronald Acuña, Jr. has already had himself one heck of a night. After leading off the top of the third inning with a single, Nationals starter Tommy Milone had Acuña dead to rights on a pickoff throw to first base. Acuña darted for second base and the throw from first baseman Matt Adams was off the mark, giving Acuña his seventh stolen base of the season.
In the top of the fourth, Acuña padded the Braves’ lead to 7-1 with a two-run home run to straightaway center field. Statcast measured that one at 452 feet.
In the bottom half of the fourth, Acuña robbed Adams of a solo home run to center field.
Acuña, a former top prospect, is enjoying a solid rookie season. As of this writing, including tonight’s action, Acuña is batting .266/.325/.494 with 12 home runs, 30 RBI, and 37 runs scored in 255 plate appearances.
White Sox starter Iván Nova was able to escape a jam in the third inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Astros with the help of a triple play. Nova had allowed a leadoff double to Tony Kemp, then hit Robinson Chirinos with a pitch to put runners on first and second base with no outs. Facing Jake Marisnick in a 1-1 count, Nova threw a 94 MPH fastball that Marisnick sharply grounded to Yoán Moncada right at the third base bag. Moncada quickly fired the ball to Yolmer Sánchez at second base, then Sánchez whipped the ball to José Abreu at first base just ahead of a lunging Marisnick to complete the triple-killing.
According to Baseball Almanac, it’s the 718th known triple play dating back to 1876. The last time the White Sox turned a triple play was 2016. They turned three triple plays that season, amusingly. The Astros have been victimized by two of the last three triple plays, having also hit into one on April 19 last year against the Mariners.