Ronald Acuna started his spring the same way he’s started many, many regular season games.

Acuna led off Monday with a hustle double off Red Sox starter Garrett Richards. After Ozzie Albies walked, newcomer Jake Lamb singled to left. Third base coach Ron Washington went super aggressive, waving Acuna home. The aggressiveness was rewarded with the Braves’ first run in a 5-3 win over Boston.

“It was really good (to see),” manager Brian Snitker said. “(Acuna) struggled a bit in spring training last year. You just look at him, how he came to the ballpark, how he’s moving, how he came to camp, it’s been really good.”

The sequence was a teaser of what’s expected in the regular season from Acuna and his teammates. Dynamic base running is again going to be an integral part of the Braves’ identity.

Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna calls time after reaching second base on a leadoff double in the first inning Monday, March 1, 2021, against the Boston Red Sox as JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)
Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna calls time after reaching second base on a leadoff double in the first inning Monday, March 1, 2021, against the Boston Red Sox as JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Notes from Monday:

- The game was one of those messy spring training affairs. Boston committed five errors. Twelve pitchers combined for 12 walks and 15 strikeouts.

- Outfielder Cristian Pache had a bad-luck day. He was robbed of a home run by Cesar Puello and was twice left in the on-deck circle when the inning rolled over (managers can choose to end frames before three outs are recorded under new spring training rules). Overall, Pache went 0-for-2, but Snitker complimented his at-bats.

- Huascar Ynoa is valuable pitching depth, capable of starting and relieving. He started Monday’s game with a clean first inning. He had two walks and two strikeouts in the second before Snitker lifted him. Ynoa said he prefers starting, but he’s happy to help the team in any capacity.

“I don’t find it challenging (to switch between roles) because I’ve grown accustomed to it,” he said via team interpreter Franco Garcia. “I’ve been pulled between being a starter and coming out of the bullpen since (Double-A) Mississippi. So at this point, it really doesn’t make a difference to me. It doesn’t really present a challenge. But if I had to pick one, I’d be a starter.”

- Catcher William Contreras had a productive day with three RBIs. He drew a bases-loaded walk in the first frame and scored Albies and Johan Camargo on a single in the third.

Contreras is competing with Alex Jackson for the backup catcher role behind Travis d’Arnaud. He appears to be major-league ready, but the Braves could opt to put him in Triple-A Gwinnett and let him play daily rather than sporadically on the big-league club.

“William, during last summer, it was kind of crazy watching him hit and take batting practice,” Snitker said. “Just how he’s matured.”

Atlanta Braves catcher William Contreras hits a two-run single to take give Atlanta a 4-1 lead over the Boston Red Sox in the third inning Monday, March 1, 2021, at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)
Atlanta Braves catcher William Contreras hits a two-run single to take give Atlanta a 4-1 lead over the Boston Red Sox in the third inning Monday, March 1, 2021, at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

- Touki Toussaint had a disappointing 2020, but his spring was off to a fantastic start. He entered in the third inning and struck out three Red Sox regulars in Marwin Gonzalez, J.D. Martinez and Bobby Dalbec.

The fourth inning wasn’t as kind. The first three hitters resulted in a walk, double and walk. One scored on a grounder, but Toussaint at least limited the damage.

“The first inning was really good,” Snitker said. “He couldn’t finish off hitters and got in some bad counts. The stuff was good. It’s been the consistency, strikes. There’s no doubt he has the stuff. The delivery looked more under control today. The first inning was really, really good and it got away from him in the second. But overall the stuff was really good.”

Toussaint, plagued by control issues, could use a strong exhibition season. He’s on the peripherals of pitching conversations because he hasn’t excelled when afforded opportunities. It takes some pitchers longer than others, of course, and Toussaint building off the good he showed Monday would go a long way toward working his way back into the mix.

- The Braves play their spring home opener Tuesday at CoolToday Park against the Twins. Ian Anderson will make his first spring start. Most of the Braves’ regulars, including Marcell Ozuna, who’s yet to make his spring debut, are expected to play.

In Other News