“I feel like I’m back to 100 percent,” Acuña said through interpreter Franco García. “The beginning of the season, there were just some aches – some aches and pains that I’ve never experienced before or felt. Not that I’m making an excuse, because that’s not it, but I think just for me personally, that would affect my timing and sort of my comfortability a little bit.”
His two solo home runs on Tuesday – one to lead off the bottom of the first, the other to lead off the bottom of the third – both came off Oakland starter Cole Irvin. The bombs pulled the Braves even with the A’s after Kyle Wright allowed two first-inning runs.
For baseball fans around the country, Acuña is must-see TV.
“I think that’s one of the things that motivates me the most, to be honest, is to have that fan support,” Acuña said. “One of those things that motivates me and encourages me to go out on the field and play hard, and play the way that I do.”
2. Wright allowed three straight singles to begin his start. The third scored two runs. It could’ve gone downhill.
But when his outing ended, he had set a new career high in innings pitched with eight. He never surrendered another run after the first inning.
“It’s great,” Wright said. “After the seventh, (manager Brian Snitker) asked me, ‘How are ya?’ I’ll be honest, I was a little tired, but I’d never gone eight before, so I really wanted it. Big accomplishment for me. Hopefully I can do it more times in the future.”
Wright, who had gone seven innings in two other starts this season, gave up five hits and struck out seven batters. He walked none. He threw 105 pitches as he lowered his ERA to 2.39.
The right-hander, who didn’t give up a hit after the fourth inning, ended his outing by retiring the final 14 batters he faced.
“You hope it’s like, once they taste it, that’s what they want all the time, is to go eight,” Snitker said. “Hopefully at some point in time, he gets to toe the rubber to start the ninth inning.”
3. Acuña’s second homer flew beyond the left-center field wall and landed halfway up the seats.
The estimated distance: 464 feet.
Yes, you read that correctly.
It was crushed. It left the bat at 114 mph.
According to Baseball Savant, the blast was the fifth-longest homer of Acuña’s career. In 2020, he hit a 495-foot homer that is still the longest of his career. He has also launched home runs of 481, 473 and 466 feet.
4. Less than an hour before the game, the Braves announced Adam Duvall had been scratched from the lineup with left triceps cramping.
His replacement ended up helping the Braves win the game.
Guillermo Heredia, a backup outfielder, launched a go-ahead, solo home run to lead off the seventh inning. With the way Wright pitched, and Kenley Jansen in the ninth, the shot proved to be all Atlanta needed to seal a victory. Heredia now has three home runs this season.
5. Just let Wright tell you about the amazing play.
“The catch that Michael Harris made was probably one of the best catches I’ve ever seen,” Wright said. “I feel like he was all the way in left field and he covered all that ground to make that catch. …Once he made that catch, I just felt like there’s nothing that’s going to drop.”
In the top of the fifth inning, Harris sprinted to his left and made an incredible catch on a ball that surely drops with almost any other center fielder out there. And he didn’t even need to dive for it.
According to Baseball Savant, the ball had a 40% catch probability. Harris covered 66 feet and sprinted at 28.5 feet per second to reach it.
Stat to know
8-Tuesday marked the eighth multi-homer game of Acuña’s career, his first since April 14, 2021.
“I didn’t think there was any chance in hell he had catching that ball. Literally, he just outran it. He outran the ball.”-Snitker on Harris’ catch
The Braves and A’s play the second of two games on Wednesday at 7:20 p.m. Atlanta righty Ian Anderson will face Oakland lefty Jared Koenig.