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Atlanta Braves AFL Recap: Ronald Acuna Homers Twice to Lead Peoria

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Ronald Acuna starred once again for Peoria and took the league lead in home runs. Austin Riley also came through with a bomb while Max Fried got back on track.

Minor League Baseball: Arizona Fall League-All Star Game Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Games

(14-10) Peoria Javelinas 5, (14-10) Mesa Solar Sox 4 Box Score

(14-11) Peoria Javelinas 5, (11-14) Surprise Saguaros 11 Box Score

(15-11) Peoria Javelinas 11, (11-15) Surprise Saguaros 10 Box Score

Ronald Acuna

2-4, 2 HR, 2 BB, 3 RBI, .333/.429/.680

Ronald Acuna was limited to one game of action for Peoria, but used all of his shots for that game and led the Javelinas to a one run win. Acuna started his day off in the second inning with a 2 run bomb to left field, giving him 6 home runs on the season to tie Austin Riley for the league lead and putting Peoria up by a run early. An inning later, after fouling off 3 straight pitches in a 3-2 count, Acuna popped one over the center field fence to score a 2 runs and extend Peoria’s lead to 6-0. Acuna wasn’t given much to hit after that with 2 walks in his next 3 plate appearances, and he was on base in each of his first 5 after reaching on a fielding error. Acuna ended his day with a ground out in the ninth inning. Acuna now leads the AFL with a 1.109 OPS, and if he were to win league MVP would be the youngest MVP in AFL history, breaking the record Gleyber Torres set last season by a 5 days.

Max Fried

3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1.73 ERA

Max Fried started the 11-10 game for Peoria on Saturday, but he wasn’t to blame as he starred as the starter. Fried set down the Saguaros in order in the 1st inning, striking out 2 men. Fried allowed a base hit up the middle to lead off the second inning, but quickly erased that by forcing a double play from the next batter. A ground out, ended the inning with Peoria leading 4-0. Fried again allowed the leadoff batter to reach in the third inning, but after forcing a line out Fried did Max Fried things and picked off the runner at first base for the second out of the inning. Fried closed the book on his day with his third strikeout of the game, and left Peoria with a 6-0 lead.

Touki Toussaint

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 11.74 ERA

Touki was perfect in his lone inning of work for Peoria, and thre 11 of his 16 pitches for strikes. He started out his night by forcing a pop out after battling back from a 2-0 deficit in the count, then got ahead of the next man up and struck him out swinging. A line out ended the inning and the outing for Toussaint.

Alex Jackson

1-8, HBP, RBI, .250/.308/.500

Jackson struggled again at the plate for Peoria has only managed 2 hits with no walks. His lone hit of his last 2 games came in his first at bat, when he ambushed a pitch to open the second inning and got a line drive single. Jackson grounded out and popped out in his next two at bats, but in his strikeout in the 8th inning he managed to reach on a wild pitch and come around to score the tying run in the game. In his second game he struck out, grounded out twice, and flew out to open his day, but came through (?) with an RBI hit by pitch in the 8th inning to tie the game at 10 in Peoria’s eventual win. Jackson struggled behind the plate in his two games as well, as runners went 3-3 on stolen bases and Jackson had his 4th passed ball of the fall.

Austin Riley

3-14, HR, 2 RBI, .302/.362/.698

Austin Riley had a strong week early before a poor performance in the 11-10 game skewed his numbers negatively. Riley had a single in his first of three games, though he also struck out twice in his four at bats. Riley provided big time support in game 2; after striking out in his first two appearances Riley took an 0-2 pitch deep for his (at the time) league leading 6th home run of the season. His next time up Riley singled and came around to score what would be Peoria’s final run of the afternoon. Riley struggled in going 0-6 with strikeouts in his final game of the week, though he did knock in the go ahead and eventual winning run in the game on a fielder’s choice in the 9th inning.

Corbin Clouse

0 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 0 K, 9.00 ERA

Following Fried departing with a 6-0 lead, his first reliever in the 4th inning couldn’t get out of the inning and the ball was turned over to Clouse with 4 of the 6 run lead still intact and runners on the corners. Clouse proceeded to walk the bases loaded on four pitches, walk a run in on another 4 pitch walk, then fall behind 0-2 before giving up a grand slam on a 3-2 count that made it a 7-6 game. Clouse was pulled without recording an out, and threw a total of 14 pitches with only 3 for strikes.

Josh Graham

1.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 7.71 ERA

Graham was brought in to relieve Clouse, and things did not get off to a magical start as the first batter reached on an error and stole second base. Graham ended the inning by forcing a pop out to the infield. Graham then had his own chance to implode in the 5th inning, when he allowed a double to lead off the inning. With one out in the inning Graham walked his only batter of the day, then allowed a bases-clearing triple to watch the Saguaros go up by 3. A passed ball by Jackson allowed a run to score, but it wouldn’t have mattered as the next man up singled. Graham finally got out of the inning by getting a line out and a ground out on the next two pitches he threw, ending a couple of nightmare innings for Peoria.

Jared James

2-7, 3B, BB, .275/.388/.375

Once again for Jared James, he had a solid week at the plate. After a couple of ground outs in Peoria’s opening win, James ripped a triple for his first hit of the game, and came in to score on a single by the next batter for Peoria’s first run of the game. James singled again in his next at bat to put runners at the corners, and the pinch runner that came in his place scored the go ahead run in the game. James went 0-3 in his next game including a strikeout, but did have a ninth inning walk to extend his on base streak to 5 games and 11 of 12 on the fall.