He’s back!! Ronald Acuña returns to Braves’ lineup against Phillies

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Ronald Acuña’s absence was brief.

The National League MVP frontrunner was back atop the Braves’ lineup and manning right field Monday for the series opener against the Phillies. Acuña exited the Sept. 15 game against the Marlins in the eighth inning with right-calf tightness and missed the next two games of the series. Acuña had played every game before the injury.

“They treated him up, he ran around out there, and he passed all the tests,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “It’s good to get him back in there.”

Acuña is producing one of the greatest seasons in Braves history. He’s hitting .337/.418/.586 with 37 home runs and 66 stolen bases, putting him on the verge of MLB’s first 40-60 season. He leads the majors in runs (135), hits (201), stolen bases, on-base percentage and total bases (350).

While they’ve already clinched their division, the Braves are still trying to secure homefield advantage throughout the postseason. They entered Monday 96-53, leading the Dodgers by 4-1/2 games for the NL’s No. 1 seed and leading the Orioles by three games for MLB’s best record.