Braves’ Ronald Acuna suffers abdominal strain, leaves game vs. Cubs

Credit: Atlanta Braves

The injury news keeps getting worse for Atlanta.

Superstar outfielder Ronald Acuna suffered an abdominal strain during a pick-off attempt in the fourth inning Sunday night against the Cubs. Acuna repeatedly pointed at his middle area while on the bases. He advanced to second on a walk to Freddie Freeman, and after speaking with manager Brian Snitker, Acuna stayed in the game.

Acuna later scored on Travis d’Arnaud’s sacrifice fly, dashing home and sliding hands-first. He appeared to be in pain after the slide. Acuna was removed from the game before the bottom of the fourth inning. Ehire Adrianza, who was playing second base, shifted to right field and Johan Camargo entered at second.

The Braves announced Acuna left with pain in his lower abdominal muscles. Snitker confirmed it was an abdominal strain. The team won’t know if he’ll need time on the injured list until Monday. The Braves have two off days this week, Monday and Thursday, surrounding a two-game series in New York against the Yankees.

“They’ll reassess him tomorrow (Monday) and see where he’s at,” Snitker said. “I don’t know (if he’ll need time on the IL). It was so late here that they couldn’t get the test they wanted, so they’ll get it tomorrow in New York and we’ll know more then.”

The Braves have already had rotten injury luck to begin the season. They’re down three starters in Mike Soroka, Max Fried and Drew Smyly. They’re down two center fielders in Cristian Pache and Ender Inciarte. Relievers Chris Martin and Sean Newcomb are shelved. Second baseman Ozzie Albies is sidelined, though the hope is he’ll return Tuesday.

Acuna has been off to an incredible start, hitting .419 with seven homers and 16 RBIs. He’s scored in 10 consecutive games and leads the majors with 21 runs scored. He’s been the lone consistent contributor on the Braves’ up-and-down offense. Losing Acuna, especially given his current MVP-level production, for any amount of time would be a big blow.

“From what I’ve heard, (Acuna) is doing good,” said starter Bryse Wilson. “We’re hoping he’s going to be alright. I haven’t heard anything other than that.”

The Braves hit four homers in the first inning Sunday, leading to their 13-4 destruction of the Cubs. They moved to 7-9 on the season.

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