ATLANTA (AP) – Slugging rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. was hit by a pitch before he could take the Marlins deep again, but Dansby Swanson filled the power void for Atlanta, hitting a two-run homer that led the Braves to a 5-2 win over Miami on Wednesday.
Acuna, who had hit leadoff homers in the last three games and homered in five straight games overall, didn’t get a chance to extend the streak. Jose Urena plunked him on the left elbow with a fastball on his first pitch of the day, triggering a melee.
Benches and bullpens for both teams emptied onto the field twice after the pitch. No punches were thrown. Urena and Braves manager Brian Snitker were ejected.
An angry Snitker was near the front of the line of Braves players charging out of the dugout toward the mound.
With everyone at the ballpark watching to see if the rookie could hit yet another leadoff homer, Acuna instead became the 11th batter to be hit by a pitch from Urena this season, tied for the most in the National League.
Trainer George Poulis hovered over Acuna, who sat on the ground near the batter’s box while players swarmed near the mound. Acuna left the game in the second inning. He took his position in left field and then walked off the field.
There was no immediate update on Acuna’s apparent injury.
Because he was forced from the game after being hit by the pitch in his only plate appearance, Acuna will be eligible to continue his three-game streak of leadoff homers in his next game.
The NL East-leading Braves, who began the night two games ahead of Philadelphia, have won five straight. The last-place Marlins have lost five straight and eight of nine.
Kevin Gausman (7-9) allowed two runs in six innings. A.J. Minter pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 12 opportunities.
Elieser Hernandez, who replaced Urena, allowed two hits in three scoreless innings.
The Braves trailed 2-0 before scoring three runs off left-hander Jarlin Garcia (1-2) in the fourth. Charlie Culberson, who doubled, scored from third on Ender Inciarte’s grounder to first base. After Tyler Flowers walked, Swanson cleared the center field wall with his 10th homer.
Culberson had three hits, including two doubles. Inciarte, who had a run-scoring single in the sixth, drove in two runs.
Starlin Castro led off Miami’s fourth with his 10th homer into the seats in right field.
The 20-year-old Acuna hit two homers in Tuesday night’s 10-6 win over the Marlins. He became the first player to hit leadoff shots in three straight games since Baltimore’s Brady Anderson led off with homers in four straight games in 1996.
He tied the Atlanta record of five straight games with a homer, set by Brian McCann in 2006.
Miami left fielder Austin Dean, a 2012 fourth-round draft pick called up from Triple-A New Orleans before the game, was held without a hit in his major league debut.
Braves LHP Max Fried, on the 10-day disabled list with a left groin strain, will make a rehab start for Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday – “quicker than we originally thought,” Snitker said. … LHP Sam Freeman (left shoulder inflammation) threw a scoreless inning for Gwinnett on Tuesday and is scheduled to throw again on Thursday.
Marlins: Miami, off Thursday, opens a weekend series at Washington on Friday night. RHP Dan Straily (4-5. 4.42) has a 3.86 ERA in two starts against the Nationals this season.
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (8-7, 4.33) will look to continue his success against the Rockies in Thursday night’s opener of a four-game series. Teheran is 5-1 with a 2.21 ERA in nine career starts against Colorado.
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