Ronald Acuna Homer Gives Atlanta 1-0 Win Over Tampa Bay
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Ronald Acuna Jr. became the youngest player to homer in a 1-0 game since 1935, lifting the Atlanta Braves over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night.
The last player younger than the 20-year-old Acuna to go deep in a 1-0 game was the Chicago Cubs’ Phil Cavarretta against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sept. 25, 1935, according to MLB.com. Cavarretta was 19 years old at the time.
Sean Newcomb (3-1) allowed two singles in six innings and has thrown 13 scoreless innings over his last two starts for the Braves. Atlanta ended a three-game skid and won its sixth consecutive road game, including three consecutive road shutouts.
Four relievers pitched the final three innings for Atlanta, including Arodys Vizcaino, who earned his fifth save.
Acuna’s third homer was a long one off Blake Snell in the third inning. Snell (2-2) gave up one run and four hits while striking out five in 6 1/3 innings. It was his sixth straight start in which he has given up two runs or fewer.
Acuna is batting .320 with six RBIs in his first 12 major league games.
Newcomb gave up three walks while striking out six. He has a 1.78 ERA in his five road starts.
Rays catcher Wilson Ramos extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a broken-bat single off Vizcaino leading off the ninth, but Denard Span then lined into a double play with Mallex Smith pinch running for Ramos.
Rays shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, who had one of the hits off Newcomb, left the game in the eighth inning after lunging to catch a ball that landed behind the pitchers’ mound after caroming off a speaker above home plate. It was ruled a foul ball.
Former Braves left-hander Johnny Venters pitched the ninth for the Rays. He returned to the majors this season for the first time since pitching with Atlanta in 2012. His career was put in jeopardy by four major elbow surgeries, including three Tommy John operations.
Braves: LHP Luiz Gohara, who started the season on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle and then made four minor league starts, was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett. He will be used in the bullpen initially.
Rays: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (right elbow surgery) will make his second rehab start with Class A Charlotte against Fort Myers on Wednesday night. He will go two innings or 35 pitches.
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (2-1) will make his eighth start of the season Wednesday night and his first start ever against Tampa Bay.
Rays: LHP Ryan Yarbrough (2-1) will start after allowing one hit over five scoreless innings out of the bullpen Friday night against Toronto.
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