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Braves AFL Recap: Riley, Acuna Show Out

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Back-to-Back home runs highlighted another strong showing for Braves hitters.

MLB: New York Mets at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Games

(10-7) Peoria Javelinas 3, (8-9) Surprise Saguaros 6 Box Score

(11-7) Peoria Javelinas 9, (8-10) Surprise Saguaros 2 Box Score

(11-8) Peoria Javelinas 5, (10-8) Scottsdale Scorpions 7 Box Score

Ronald Acuna

3-8, BB, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, .377/.462/.698

Acuna went 0-3 with a walk in his first game of the week, but exploded for three hits in Peoria’s lone win out of the first three. Acuna opened the game with a one out double to the opposite field in the first inning, though he was eventually stranded at second base. In his next time at the plate Acuna extended Peoria’s lead to 2-0 by knocking an infield single on which the third baseman threw the ball away allowing a run to score. Acuna grounded into a fielder’s choice in his third at bat, but in the sixth inning came through with a 2 run home run that extended Peoria’s lead from 2 to four runs. Acuna had a chance to finish the cycle with another at bat in the 8th inning, but struck out on a foul tip to end his day. Acuna is 4th in the AFL batting title race, ranks second in OPS, tied with Austin Riley for second in home runs.

Max Fried

DNP

Touki Toussaint

0.1 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 13.50 ERA

Toussaint had a disastrous outing for Peoria, giving up 3 runs and the lead in a key inning in Peoria’s loss. Touki started out the inning strong by getting a strikeout, but didn’t record another out before being removed from the game. Toussaint allowed a walk after getting ahead 1-2 on he batter, then a double and another walk to load the bases and bring out a mound visit. Toussaint walked in a run on the next batter, ending his day after 27 pitches and only 11 strikes. The next batter after Toussaint was removed singled to left field to score two more runs charged to Touki.

Alex Jackson

0-6, HBP .308/.368/.654

Jackson ran into some struggles in his last two games for Peoria and was unable to record a hit in either game. Jackson came to the plate three times in his first game on Monday and did not waste time seeing many pitches, as he flew out on the first pitch of the afternoon and then struck out in his next at bat on 3 pitches. In his final plate appearance Jackson reached base for the only time so far this week, but it was no good news as he was hit by a pitch and left the game. 2 runners attempted to steal in the game and he was able to throw out one of the runners. In his first at bat of game 2 on Wednesday, Jackson got ahead in the count early but ended up falling down 2-2 and rolling over a ball to third base for the first out. Jackson struck out in each of his next 3 at bats, on four, three, and six pitches, respectively.

Austin Riley

3-9, 2B, HR, HBP, RBI .342/.419/.789

Austin Riley continued his roll at the plate, and now leads the Arizona Fall League in OPS among qualifiers. Riley fell behind in his first at bat of the first game, but while caught in a 1-2 hole fouled off four straight pitches before putting a ball in play that the third baseman made an error on allowing RIley to advance to second. Riley grounded into a double play his next time up, but in his next at bat doubled to lead off the 6th inning and advanced to third before being stranded there. Riley grounded out and struck out in his next two at bats to finish the game 1-5. RIley opened the next game with a pop out and a strike out, but that was the last time the Saguaros would record an out against him. Riley was hit by a pitch in his next plate appearance in the fourth inning, and after a short injury delay was left in the game. He got his revenge the next time up by going back-to-back on homers with Acuna, his 4th of the season, to extend Peoria’s lead out to 7-2. Riley singled in his next at bat on a ball that deflected off the pitcher, and was stranded with two outs.

Corbin Clouse

DNP

Josh Graham

DNP

Jared James

2-8, BB, .267/.378/.333

James struggle in the opening game of this week out of the leadoff spot going 0-5 and striking out twice in the game for the first time since August 2. James was not in the original starting lineup in Wednesday’s game, but after Jonathan Davis was ejected in the first inning James stepped in and singled to lead off the game for Peoria. James grounded out in the next inning before leading off the sixth inning with a single and then scoring on Eric Filia’s game-tying home run. James walked in his final plate appearance but was eventually stranded on a double play that ended Peoria’s last real threat to tie the Scorpions.