Ronald Acuna Jr. Exits vs. Red Sox with Knee, Back Injuries After Scary Fall

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2018

BOSTON, MA - MAY 27:  Mitch Moreland #18 of the Boston Red Sox pats Ronald Acuna Jr. #13 of the Atlanta Braves on the back after an injury at first base in the seventh inning of a game at Fenway Park on May 27, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Atlanta Braves left fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. left Sunday's game against the Boston Red Sox with knee and lower back pain, the team announced.

Acuna's left knee buckled as he ran through first base on an infield single in the seventh inning. According to Fox Sports South's Kelsey Wingert, Acuna left the field under his own power.

Preston Tucker replaced Acuna—who had started his third straight game in right field—and moved to left field, with Nick Markakis moving from left to right.

No prospect was more heavily hyped than Acuna entering this season. The 20-year-old batted .325 with 21 home runs, 82 RBI and 44 steals in 64 attempts between High-A, Double-A and Triple-A in 2017.

Acuna struggled in Triple-A to start this year, batting .232 and slugging .304 in 17 games, but that didn't stop the Braves from calling him up to the majors in late April. He has generally adjusted well to MLB pitching, posting five homers, 13 RBI and a .456 slugging percentage in his first 28 games.

Acuna is clearly a big part of the Braves' future, and his contributions this year could help Atlanta's playoff push. The team entered Sunday 29-21, a half-game behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East and a game up in the National League wild-card race.

Many fans likely expected the worse when Acuna fell to the field Sunday. The fact he walked to the dugout indicates the injury may not be as bad as first feared.

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