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Ronald Acuña Jr. hits leadoff home run in Braves’ 10th straight win

Ronald Acuña Jr. hits leadoff home run in Braves' 10th straight win

ATLANTA — Hours before LeBron James expressed his admiration for Ronald Acuña Jr. on Twitter, Braves manager Brian Snitker was driving to Truist Park thinking about where his young outfielder ranks among the most exciting players he has ever seen.

“I don’t know that I’ve seen anybody like that in my time, and I’ve seen a bunch of Hall of Famers and some that aren’t Hall of Famers that are knocking on the door, where you just go ‘Wow,’” Snitker said. “This kid is almost on another level with what he can do.”

Acuña created another jaw-dropping moment and again performed like one of professional sports’ most exciting athletes while helping the Braves extend their winning streak to 10 games with a 10-4 victory over the Pirates at Truist Park on Saturday. The energizing outfielder hit his latest leadoff home run and scored from first base in dramatic fashion on a single.

“He’s actually pretty quiet and when he gets out on the field, it’s his chance to unleash whatever is in there,” Braves starter Charlie Morton said. “Watching him play is a window to an opportunity to see something I don’t see a whole lot of. There’s a language barrier, and oftentimes there can be a cultural barrier. Sometimes baseball gives you a unique window of being able to see somebody in a way you didn’t before.”

As the Braves have tallied 10 straight wins for the first time since 2013, they’ve benefited from the healthy and dynamic presence of Acuña, who returned from a torn right ACL on April 28. He is a five-tool talent whose greatness is recognized by other superstars like James, who tweeted “Ayyeeee!! Man I love this kid,” after Acuña homered and celebrated with James’ “Chalk Toss” ritual in the first inning.

“It brings a lot of emotions to have a superstar, a living legend of that caliber be that supportive,” Acuña said. “That makes me proud.”

Acuña grew up idolizing James and now he finds himself also recognized as one of…

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