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Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. benched after not running out single

By Connor Grott
Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. benched after not running out single
Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. was removed before the fifth inning after failing to run out a long fly ball that resulted in a single. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Atlanta Braves star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. was removed from Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers after failing to hustle during a long fly ball.

Braves manager Brian Snitker pulled Acuna, who thought he hit his 36th home run of the season, before the fifth inning after he stood at home plate and watched a deep drive off the right field wall in the third. The 21-year-old All-Star likely could have recorded a double but admired the fly ball instead of hustling from home plate, resulting in a single.

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Snitker followed Acuna into the tunnel and had a conversation with him in the fourth inning before Adam Duvall replaced him in the outfield in the fifth. Rafael Ortega moved from left to center field.

"He didn't run. You've got to run," Snitker told reporters. "It's not going to be acceptable here. As a teammate, you're responsible for 24 other guys and that name on the front is a lot more important than that name on the back of that jersey.

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"You can't do that. We're trying to accomplish something special here. Personal things have to be put on the back-burner."

Acuna told reporters through an interpreter there was "no excuse" for his mistake and that he respected Snitker's decision to pull him. He is expected to return to the lineup for the Braves' next game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday.

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Acuna has a .296 batting average with 35 homers and 85 RBIs. He leads the National League with 29 stolen bases and 104 runs scored.

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