DENVER – Ronald Acuña Jr. is a spectacle to behold, someone who always demands attention because of his extraordinary abilities. He is a human highlight reel who always leaves fans waiting for his next jaw-dropping moment.

And this season, he is also making history.

Acuña powered the Braves to a 14-4 victory over the Rockies on Monday at Coors Field. As much as he produced at the plate, his craziest moment might have been a rather unprecedented situation that occurred in between innings.

Five observations:

1. Here is the list of Major League Baseball players who hit 29 home runs and stole 61 bases in the same season:

Ronald Acuña Jr.

End of list.

“I feel like God gave me a talent,” Acuña said through interpreter Franco García, “and I’ve just been able to take advantage of it and reach those accolades.”

Acuña, who homered and stole two bases in the victory, became the fourth player in MLB history with at least 25 home runs and at least 60 stolen bases in the same season, joining Hall of Famers Joe Morgan, Rickey Henderson and Eric Davis.

But none of them hit 29 home runs while stealing 60-plus bases.

“It’s special,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He’s a special player. He’s a gifted young man, and baseball player. Anything he’s going to do in this game is not going to surprise me. I just think he’s that talented.”

2. As A.J. Minter warmed up for the bottom of the seventh inning, there was commotion in right field as Acuña became entangled in a situation.

Three fans ran onto the field. Two of them made contact with Acuña – at different times.

The first one went up and tried to take a selfie. Security guards contained him, but then another fan bolted toward the group and knocked over Acuña.

“I was a little scared at first, but I think the fans were out there and asking for picture,” Acuña said. “Security was able to get there, and so I think everything’s OK, everyone’s OK.”

Eventually, Acuña’s teammates went over to right field. The bullpen also began to empty.

“I don’t think they had any ill intentions,” Kevin Pillar said of the fans. “I think that was pretty evident early on. Still, I mean, we have these rules and regulations in place. We’re supposed to feel safe on the field. Thankfully, they weren’t there to do any harm.”

3. In recent weeks, the Dodgers’ Mookie Betts has crept up on Acuña in the National League MVP race. Some fans believe Betts is the current frontrunner.

Acuña on Wednesday sent a resounding message to those who believe he’s slipping: Not only is he not slipping, but he still might be the NL’s best player.

Acuña went 4-for-5 with five RBIs. He doubled. He had the homer. He stole the two bases. He did it all.

“I think I’m just really happy and proud that I’ve been able to stay healthy for the whole season,” Acuña said. “The goal is to be able to go out there, contribute and help the team win any way possible. As far as the personal achievements, goals or accolades, that’s just someone else.”

Acuña’s teammates are far from surprised. This is who he is, who he’s always been.

He leads MLB in stolen bases. His .335 batting average and .990 OPS both rank third in the NL.

“I know what he can do,” Marcell Ozuna said. “He can do more than that. The season is going well for him. He’s the MVP type, so hopefully he earns it and he gets the MVP title.”

4. It may be difficult to believe, but at one point, the Braves and Rockies went back and forth.

Yes, it’s true. Atlanta had to battle.

The teams were tied, 4-4. In the top of the fifth, Kevin Pillar drove gave the Braves the lead with a sacrifice fly. The Braves eventually scored 10 unanswered runs, including a four-run seventh inning and a five-run ninth.

Six of nine Braves starters collected multiple hits. Three had at least three hits.

5. At a tough place for pitchers, Bryce Elder did a nice job of keeping the Rockies from exploding.

He allowed four runs, which is a fine start here. This ballpark can be brutal on pitchers.

The important number: He went six innings, which helped the Braves avoid putting their bullpen in a poor spot with a week of games before their next off day.

Stat to know

11, 12 - The Braves record for stolen bases in a single season is 72, done by Otis Nixon in 1991. Acuña needs 11 stolen bases to tie the record and 12 to break it.


“I mean, it’s really cool. I enjoy watching every night. I try not to take it for granted, because the fact he does it every single night, you get used to it, which is a shame. But I try to enjoy it as much as I can, because it’s a lot of fun to watch.”-Elder on witnessing Acuña’s historic season

Up next

On Tuesday, Charlie Morton will face Colorado right-hander Peter Lambert. First pitch is at 8:40 p.m. ET.