Ronald Acuna has revived his preseason form late in the season, demolishing pitching as a one-man wrecking crew and visibly enjoying every moment of it.
The 20-year-old has homered in four consecutive games. The latter two shots began games Monday, guiding the Braves to a doubleheader sweep of the lowly Marlins.
Stats to put Acuna’s success in perspective:
» 1. Acuna is the youngest player to homer in four consecutive games in baseball history, and joins Venezuela countryman Miguel Cabrera as the only players to do so under the age of 21. Cabrera hit five homers in four games in April 2004.
“I’m extremely proud. He’s been my favorite player since I was a little kid, and I’ve always admired him,” Acuna said of being mentioned in the same breath as Cabrera (via team interpreter Franco Garcia).
» 2. Acuna is the fourth player to hit leadoff homers in both games of a doubleheader. He’s the first to do so since Brady Anderson accomplished such with the Orioles in August 1999.
The other two to do so (both Hall of Famers): Rickey Henderson for the A’s in 1993 and Harry Hooper for the Red Sox in 1913. That makes Acuna the first National League player to lead off both doubleheader games with a long ball.
» 3. The Braves have seven leadoff homers this season, tying the franchise record. Acuna’s contributed four, while Ozzie Albies is responsible for the other three. Acuna’s four leadoff shots are the most by a Brave since Jason Heyward’s quartet in 2014. The team record is seven, set by Marquis Grissom in 1996.
» 4. Since moving to leadoff after the All-Star break, Acuna’s hit .344 (31-for-90) with 10 homers, 20 RBIs and 23 runs scored across 23 games. His 10 homers since the break are second-most in the NL, trailing Matt Carpenter’s 14.
“I don’t think any of us are fully aware of our capabilities and what we’re able to do,” Acuna said.
» 5. Acuna’s streak is the longest for a Brave since Brian McCann also homered in four consecutive in 2012. The franchise record is five, achieved most recently by McCann in 2006.
The record also was matched by Rogers Hornsby (1928), Ozzie Virgil Jr. (1987), Eddie Miller (1940), Jeff Burroughs (1977), Joe Adcock (1956), Hank Aaron (1966) and Chipper Jones (2004).
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