Ronald Acuña out of Braves lineup, dealing with groin soreness

Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. steals second base in the first inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

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Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. steals second base in the first inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Braves All-Star outfielder Ronald Acuña was out of the lineup Wednesday because of groin soreness. Acuña suffered the injury during Tuesday’s loss to the Red Sox.

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The Braves are off Thursday, giving Acuña consecutive days to rest. Manager Brian Snitker said Acuña could return as soon as Friday, and the team is hopeful that he won’t require time on the injured list.

“We’ll treat him up for a couple days and check him out Friday when he comes in and see where we’re at,” Snitker said. “He’s had a lot of activity. He’s been busy on the bases, stealing bases, running around the outfield. It’s maintenance more than anything to make sure it doesn’t become something (more serious).”

In Acuña’s absence, the Braves tweaked their lineup against Boston. Shortstop Dansby Swanson led off for the first time this season. After a slow start, Swanson is hitting .311 across his past 14 contests, which Snitker said influenced the decision. Swanson has found success hitting leadoff before, slashing .282/.308/.398 with nine doubles, a homer and six RBIs over 22 games (103 at-bats).

Catcher Travis d’Arnaud hit third, with third baseman Austin Riley in the cleanup spot. Travis Demeritte manned right field, and Orlando Arcia was the designated hitter. With a shorter bench, Snitker said it was “harder” to put backup catcher William Contreras as the DH.

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