Acuna delivers walk-off hit as MVP hopes remain alive
Atlanta Braves star and MLB MVP hopeful Ronald Acuna Jr. led the way in a 3-2 win over the Miami Marlins.
All-Star Acuna delivered a walk-off single as the Braves topped the Marlins on Thursday.
Acuna is batting .296 with 36 home runs, 88 RBIs and 29 stolen bases in 128 games this season.
The 21-year-old outfielder has been everything Braves fans have wanted, and more. This month, Acuna has 11 home runs and 23 RBIs. That is to go with a slash line of .325/.391/.759.
As impressive as that is, it should almost be expected. Last August – Acuna's rookie year – the then 20-year-old batted .336/.405/.698 with 11 homers, 21 RBIs and six stolen bases.
The challenge for him this year, though, is two-fold. While he is undoubtedly in the MVP discussion, defending National League MVP Christian Yelich and Los Angeles Dodgers star Cody Bellinger are having better seasons and will be hard to catch in a race.
And secondly, Braves team-mate Freddie Freeman has also impressed as he is batting .304 with 34 home runs and 103 RBIs. He could very well steal some MVP votes from Acuna.
Brantley extends streak
Houston Astros left fielder Michael Brantley went three for four with two RBIs and extended his hitting streak to 15 games in a 6-3 win over the Detroit Tigers.
Chicago Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks threw seven shut-out innings while allowing three hits in a 1-0 victory against the San Francisco Giants.
Washington Nationals infielder Howie Kendrick went three for five with three RBIs as his team eased past the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-1.
Biagini almost blows lead
Astros reliever Joe Biagini gave up three runs and three hits (including two home runs) while nearly blowing Houston's 6-0 lead in the ninth against the Tigers. Closer Roberto Osuna came in with a runner on and two outs, walked a batter to put the tying run on and nearly allowed a three-run homer to tie it, so he is not free from criticism either.
Davis denies Indians
J.D. Davis is playing in a big park in New York, so he figured he would make an over-the-shoulder catch.
J.D. Davis or Willie Mays? pic.twitter.com/zxszSryF5l— MLB (@MLB) August 23, 2019
Chicago Cubs 1-0 San Francisco Giants
Washington Nationals 7-1 Pittsburgh Pirates
Tampa Bay Rays 5-2 Baltimore Orioles
New York Mets 2-0 Cleveland Indians
Atlanta Braves 3-2 Miami Marlins
St Louis Cardinals 6-5 Colorado Rockies
Chicago White Sox 6-1 Texas Rangers
Houston Astros 6-3 Detroit Tigers
Oakland Athletics 5-3 New York Yankees
Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox 5-4 Kansas City Royals (completion of game suspended on August 7)
Nationals at Cubs
In what very well could be a preview of the NL wild-card game, Washington will face off with Chicago in a three-game series starting Friday. The Cubs can still win their division and the Nationals have an outside shot to claim theirs, but they will have to win series like these if they want to have a chance to do that.