Yasiel Puig made his much-anticipated return to Dodger Stadium following an offseason trade that sent him to Cincinnati. The game had even more intrigue as Clayton Kershaw was activated from the injured list to make his season debut.
Puig’s day started off in Puigian style. He was characteristically late to his pre-game press conference. When he actually addressed the media, Puig expressed how happy he is with his new situation and his new teammates, especially Joey Votto.
In his first at-bat against his former team, Puig drove a slider Kershaw out to center field for a two-run home run. You can’t draw it up any better than that.
The dinger, of course, would not have been complete without a celebratory bat toss.
Puig hit his first homer of the year on Sunday against the Cardinals. He entered the night with a .502 OPS on the season. Perhaps he’s starting to heat up.
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.