Acuña Jr. first to 20 HR, 40 seals, 50 RBI before All-Star break

Published 6:57 pm Tuesday, July 4, 2023

CLEVELAND (AP) — Nobody has had a first half of the season like Ronald Acuña Jr.

Atlanta’s four-time All-Star outfielder made history Monday night by becoming the first player to reach 20 home runs, 40 stolen bases and 50 RBIs before the All-Star break.

“Special player,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said after Atlanta extended its winning streak to nine straight and moved 30 games over .500 by beating the Cleveland Guardians 4-2.

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The 25-year-old Acuña is also just the third player to hit 20 homers and steal 40 bases in the first 84 games, joining Rickey Henderson (1990) and Eric Davis (1986).

Before the game, Acuña was named NL Player of the Month for June, the second time he’s won the award this season.

In the third inning, Acuña extended his hitting streak to 14 games before swiping his 40th base, the most he’s had in a season. He stole 37 in 2019.

Acuña appeared to injure his right shoulder while making a headfirst slide. He stayed on the ground for a few moments before being helped to his feet and checked by a Braves trainer. Acuña stayed in the game and scored moments later on a single.

Snitker said Acuña was “stung a little bit” but felt fine.

There doesn’t seem to be anything the speedy Acuña can’t do.

“You go out and get a drink or go to the bathroom you might miss something you’ve never seen before,” Snitker said. “I’m just glad to have him on our team and be able to watch him every say.”