By GEORGE HENRY, Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Braves rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. is on fire.
The 20-year-old Acuna has become the youngest player in major league history to homer in five straight games, doing it Tuesday night when he hit his third leadoff shot in a row. Then he added another in the seventh inning, a three-run shot for his 19th of the season.
A day after hitting leadoff homers in both games of a doubleheader against Miami, Acuna connected. He opened the bottom of the first inning against the Marlins by homering on the first pitch for the second straight day. The Braves went on to win 10-6.
Acuna is the first player to hit leadoff shots in three straight games since Baltimore’s Brady Anderson did it four in a row in 1996.
Acuna has homered in seven of his last eight games, with eight long balls over that span. He tied the Atlanta record of five straight with a homer set by Brian McCann in 2006.
The only other player younger than 21 to homer in four straight games was Miguel Cabrera for the Marlins in 2004.
Acuna is hitting .352 with 11 homers since moving to the top of the batting over, a stretch of 24 games beginning right after the All-Star break. The outfielder went 5 for 8 with two homers, five RBIs, five runs, two walks, a double and a stolen base in Atlanta’s doubleheader sweep of the Marlins.
After Acuna circled the bases, Charlie Culberson homered on the second pitch from Miami’s Trevor Richards.