Braves star Ronald Acuña suffers no structural damage when hit by pitch

The Braves had a brief scare Wednesday in the sixth inning of Game 2 of the National League Division Series, when Phillies starter Zack Wheeler hit star outfielder Ronald Acuña in the right elbow with a 96 mph fastball.

“To be honest, I was hurting pretty bad, but there was no way I was going to get out of that game,” Acuña said through interpreter Franco García.

After his team’s 3-0 win, manager Brian Snitker said Acuña didn’t suffer any structural damage when the pitch hit, in the outfielder’s words, the “Tommy John area” of his elbow (and he pointed to the soft part of the elbow). It got all muscle and he might be sore, but it seems the Braves dodged a bullet.

After the pitch struck Acuña, he looked to be in considerable pain. He bounced around on the grass behind the batter’s box before crouching over. Then the Braves’ athletic training staff left the dugout to evaluate Acuña.

After a few minutes, Acuña walked over to first base. He advanced to second when Dansby Swanson drew a walk, then scored the game’s first run when Matt Olson hit a ball that got past first baseman Rhys Hoskins.

After Acuña scored, he went straight down the tunnel. It appeared he was still experiencing pain in his right arm. But he came back and played right field after the Braves scored three runs in the sixth.

While in the clubhouse area after scoring, Acuña was throwing in the cage to get the feeling back in his arm.

“It kind of stung him good, and he got his feeling back by the time the inning was over,” Snitker said.

Before being hit by the pitch, Acuña had a single off Wheeler, which marked the Braves’ only hit at the time. The hit-by-pitch sparked a three-run sixth inning, and Acuña finished the game.

“He’s a fighter,” Michael Harris said. “He’s been dealing with pain all season after coming (back) from the ACL and being able to do what he did this season. Just fighting through the whole season, that’s just what he’s done. I knew in that big situation, he wasn’t going to come out (of the game), and he was going to try to do anything he could to win.”

Acuña is, of course, an integral part of the Braves’ team. He is a five-tool outfielder whose defense can be as impactful as his bat and his legs.

He didn’t want to come out of the game after being hit by the pitch.

Asked how it felt after the game, Acuña said: “We won -- everything feels good.”