CINCINNATI — Greatness met greatness Friday evening, when Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. confronted baseball’s newest phenomenon, Reds rookie third baseman Eli De La Cruz, for the primary time.
“It is superb to see what he is doing together with his expertise,” Acuna stated by a translator. “It was actually enjoyable to observe him carry out. I want you continued success and well being. ”
Acuna’s evaluation got here earlier than de la Cruz turned the fifth youngest participant to hit for the cycle. The 21-year-old’s sensational efficiency satisfied the Braves.
“The child is simply an unbelievable expertise,” Braves supervisor Brian Snitker stated. “He has energy and pace. It slows down the sport. That is nice expertise there. “
De la Cruz hasn’t achieved such fame 15 video games into his profession. However his recognition has actually grown over the primary two weeks of his MLB tenure, hitting for excellent energy and displaying spectacular pace.
“I advised Acuna, he is my favourite main league participant in the present day,” Reds first baseman Joey Votto stated. “I will let you know what, each sport Eli is operating for that discipline. I’ve by no means seen something near this.”
There was an abundance of expertise on show as two of MLB’s hottest groups opened a three-game collection in a powerful scrimmage. The Braves misplaced for the third time of their final 18 video games, however went 5 within the first and drilled three homers within the eighth.
It must also be talked about that each Acuna and Riley had three-run homer performances. As for Matt Olsen, he is tied with 23 within the majors now with two homers.
How did this offensive product come about? De La Cruz accomplished the cycle with 4 plate appearances from the second by the sixth innings. Votto, who returned from an prolonged stint on the injured listing earlier this week, hit a house run within the fourth and fifth innings, the primary to tie the sport and the second to steer the Reds to victory.
“I am not getting in right here feeling any lead is protected,” Snitker stated. “So, once we had been 4, I nonetheless had a great feeling. However [the Reds] They’re scorching. Issues are going nicely for them.”
It was an evening to recollect for De La Cruz, although, together with Braves starter AJ Smith-Shawver, who was born 11 months after De La Cruz in November 2002. This match is billed as the primary to characteristic a number of gamers born after 2001.
It did not take lengthy to determine the winner. Smith-Shauver’s second strikeout to De La Cruz was a fastball up the center that got here off the bat at 116.6 mph and smashed over the right-center discipline wall for a double. An inning later, the 6-foot-5 Reds starter hit a curveball over the right-field wall for a two-run homer.
“He is actually gifted,” Smith-Shauver stated. “I assumed I threw a great curveball within the zone. He simply made an adjustment and hit it.”
De La Cruz sealed the cycle with a sixth-inning triple off reliever Ben Heller. He wowed the group together with his acrobatic catch close to the plate within the third inning. Together with his all-round motion, Acuna dominated opponents together with his energy, palms and ft for a lot of days.
“You noticed the instruments tonight,” Olson stated. “That was a great evening for him.”