Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr., left, dodges a pitch with Pittsburgh Pirates' Jacob Stallings catching during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018, in Atlanta.
Photo: AP Photo/John Amis
Photo: AP Photo/John Amis

5 things to know about the Braves on Labor Day

The Braves are set to open a series with the MLB-best Red Sox at SunTrust Park on Monday. Less than an hour before first pitch, the Red Sox fans have made their presence known. 

Here’s what to know about the Braves before they open their last interleague series of the year:

1. Ronald Acuna’s tear continued Sunday, when he went 3-for-4 with a pair of extra-base hits and scored the go-ahead run. He’s hitting .346 with 16 homers in 42 games since the All-Star break.

In that time, Acuna is tied for first in the NL in homers and runs (36). His 56 hits are second most, while he’s tied for second in RBIs (31).

2. The bullpen has been at its best lately, posting a 0.94 ERA across the past 13 games. The group owns the third-best ERA since the break (3.14) despite their disastrous series against the Rockies, when the bullpen gave up 13 runs in four games.

3. Preston Tucker, whom the Braves reacquired from the Reds on Sunday, was present and accounted for Monday morning. He’ll wear No. 8 in his return to Atlanta. Outfielder Dustin Peterson was designated for assignment to make room.

4. In the seventh inning or later, the Braves have scored 223 times, the second-highest total in the National League, trailing only the Cubs (247). Their last three wins fell under the “last at-bat” jurisdiction, giving them 16 such wins this season, fourth most in the senior circuit.

5. The Braves are trying for their second interleague series win in Atlanta since 2014. Their only other home series win against an American League foe came in 2016, when the Braves closed Turner Field against the Tigers. 

The N.L. East leaders are 8-9 against the A.L. entering Monday’s action. 

 

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