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Acu a homers, shines defensively, Braves beat Mets 5-3
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Acu a homers, shines defensively, Braves beat Mets 5-3

Acu a homers, shines defensively, Braves beat Mets 5-3
Photo Credit: Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. leads off first base during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the New York Mets on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann tags out New York Mets' Todd Frazier at the plate on a throw from Ronald Acuna Jr. during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies (1) hauls in a fly ball from New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) in the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Atlanta Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) drives in a run with a base hit in the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried (54) works against the New York Mets in the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) works in the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

A fan has Atlanta Braves mascot Blooper's likeness painted on his face before a baseball game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) wipes his face between batters in the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Acu a homers, shines defensively, Braves beat Mets 5-3

ATLANTA (AP) - Ronald Acu a Jr. heard chants of "MVP! MVP! MVP!" as he trotted off the field in the sixth inning, tipping his cap to the crowd when he reached the dugout.

Maybe the Atlanta fans are on to something.

It was another dazzling all-around night for the 21-year-old phenom, who scored his 100th run after smashing one off the wall, hit another one into the seats, and showed off his dazzling arm with a bullet of a throw to the plate.

Acuna's heroics carried Max Fried to his fifth straight win, leading the Braves past the New York Mets 5-3 on a sweltering Tuesday night.

"It's kind of normal for me now," Fried said. "He's a tremendous player and he plays hard every night."

With Atlanta under a heat alert and the temperature at 94 degrees for the first pitch, the Braves cooled down a New York team that had won 15 of its last 17 games to surge into playoff contention.

Acu a sparked a two-run first against Zack Wheeler by leading off with a long single off the wall in right-center, coming around to score his 100th run of the season on Josh Donaldson's single. In the fourth, the youngster lined a 409-foot drive into the left-field seats for his 34th homer.

He wasn't done, either. Acu a ended the sixth by scooping up a single to left by Juan Lagares and rifling a one-hop throw to the plate to get Todd Frazier trying to score from second.

"His arm is a weapon," manager Brian Snitker said.

The Mets have lost two in a row for the first time since July 18-19 at San Francisco.

Wheeler (9-7) took the blame. The suburban Atlanta native was pounded for 12 hits and all five Atlanta runs before he was lifted after the fifth.

"I just didn't have it," Wheeler said. "It stinks. We're on this run and I really didn't give us a chance. This one's on me."

Fried (14-4) went six strong innings, surrendering his lone run in the second after plunking Wheeler with a two-out, two-strike pitch. Jeff McNeil followed with a run-scoring single.

That was it for the Mets against Fried, who threw exactly 100 pitches, surrendering six hits and three walks.

The Braves' shaky bullpen, coming off a grim weekend in Miami, protected the lead even though Shane Greene was charged with two more runs while retiring just one hitter in the eighth. The former Detroit closer has a 14.55 ERA since coming to Atlanta in a trade-deadline deal.

Luke Jackson worked a perfect seventh and Mark Melancon, another trade-deadline acquisition, went 1-2-3 in the ninth for his first save with the Braves and second of the season.

"It was cool," said Melancon, who was coming off an awful outing against the Marlins. "I had goosebumps coming out of the bullpen."

Atlanta maintained a six-game lead over Washington in the NL East, while the Mets dropped nine games back.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mets: A tough night got even worse for New York in the ninth inning. Hustling down the line on an infield grounder, All-Star second baseman Jeff McNeil pulled up with a left hamstring injury just as he reached the bag. McNeil slammed down his helmet in obvious frustration and trudged slowly off the field accompanied by a trainer. "I didn't feel it pop," McNeil said. "Just a little snag. Nothing crazy." One of the NL's top hitters with a .332 average, McNeil will undergo an MRI on Wednesday to determine the seriousness of the injury. "Hopefully it's not too bad," he said. "Maybe it's just a cramp."

Braves: Rookie slugger Austin Riley will not need surgery on his injured right knee and expects to return to the Braves' lineup in about two weeks. The outfielder went on the 10-day injured list Aug. 5 after spraining his knee during a workout. ... The outlook is not as promising for Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson, who continues to rehab a bruised right foot that already has kept him out far longer than expected. He went on the IL retroactive to July 24 and still is not sure when he'll be able to return.

ROSTER MOVES

New York recalled RHP Drew Gagnon from Triple-A Syracuse for this third stint with the team this season.

Gagnon is 3-1 with a 7.65 ERA in the big leagues. The Mets returned RHP Chris Mazza (0-1, 5.19 ERA in four games) to Syracuse.

The Braves also made a roster move before the game. OF Rafael Ortega was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett, where he was hitting .285 with 21 homers.

To make room for Ortega, the Braves optioned RHP Patrick Weigel to Gwinnett. He has been with Atlanta for eight days over two brief stints, but has yet to make his major league debut.

UP NEXT

Steven Matz (7-7, 4.49) will take the mound for New York in the second game of the series, facing Atlanta's Dallas Keuchel (3-5, 4.83) in a matchup of left-handers. Matz is coming off a strong outing against the Marlins, surrendering two runs over 6 2/3 innings in a 7-2 victory. Keuchel was roughed up by Miami in his last start, giving up eight runs, 10 hits and three homers in 3 2/3 innings.

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Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 His work can be found at https://apnews.com

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Georgia Sports News

  • Georgia basketball is going to have to grow up in a hurry if it has any chance of becoming an NCAA tournament team this season. Coach Tom Crean's young squad came apart on the road at Mississippi State on Saturday night, falling 91-59 in a battle of SEC Bulldogs. Crean's concerns about Mississippi State's size and rebounding prowess became a reality. The maroon-and-white clad Bulldogs entered the night as the SEC's top rebounding team. They proceeded to show why, posting a commanding 40-22 advantage on the glass over UGA. 48 of State's 91 points were scored in the paint. Georgia dropped to 11-6 overall and 1-3 in the SEC with the loss, while Coach Ben Howland's team improved to 11-6 and 2-3 in league games. UGA freshman Anthony Edwards got off to a rough start at the so-called 'Hump.' Edwards was held to 3 points in the first half and made only 1 of his first 9 shots. Edwards finished with 19 points on 5-of-16 shooting, including 1-of-8 marksmanship beyond the 3-point line. Georgia, coming off an 80-63 home win over Tennessee, kept things close throughout much of the first half in Starkville. Freshman Toumani Camera scored all 10 of his points in the opening half, including a dunk that made it 32-28. But Mississippi State closed the first half on a 10-3 run to take a 42-31 lead to intermission. Georgia couldn't get any closer than 11 points the remainder of the game. Junior Rayshaun Hammonds, UGA's top interior threat, scored 8 of his 10 points and grabbed 3 of his 4 rebounds in the first half. Hammonds scored just one basket on 1-of-6 shooting and grabbed just one rebound in the 15 minutes he played in the second half. The home team went on a 17-3 run late in the game, stretching the lead out to 30 points with four minutes left. UGA point guard Sahvir Wheeler, who suffered an ankle injury last Wednesday, started and played 21 minutes. Wheeler had 2 points on 1-of-2 shooting, and 1 assist. The Bulldogs return to action at 7 p.m. at Kentucky on Tuesday. DawgNation Georgia Basketball Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Anthony Edwards says UGA didn't play tough enough vs. Kentucky Georgia basketball delivers signature Top 10 win at Memphs Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener Georgia freshman already making basketball history The post Mississippi State blasts Georgia in battle of SEC Bulldogs, Anthony Edwards struggles appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken has yet to call his first play, but it's safe to say the 53-year-old already knows he's walking into a better situation than a year ago. RELATED: Todd Monken a Statement hire' by Kirby Smart Monken's differences on the Cleveland Browns' staff with first-year coach Freddie Kitchens were well-documented from the onset. Many close to Kitchens have said Monken was not even the head coach's choice for the job. It's no wonder Monken was quoted as referring the Cleveland franchise a 'total mess.' It was an accurate description. Receivers Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry were a handful. The Myles Garrett helmet swing incidentreached epic proportion. Georgia football is anything but a total mess. Monken arrives in Athens knowing he was Kirby Smart's top choice. Smart hasn't announced it, but it's a good bet Monken will assume the playcalling duties. It's something Monken has said before is important to him. RELATED: Why Todd Monken is a proven OC, and the Smart choice The best-case scenario for Georgia and Monken next season is a national championship. At the very least, a fourth-straight trip to the SEC Championship Game. The Georgia defense is that good. Nine of 11 Sugar Bowl starters return. It was a unit that led the nation in scoring defense and run defense, and finished third in the country in total defense and 8h in pass efficiency defense. Smart will be looking for an offense that makes more explosive plays while maintaining a reliable run game. But the bottom line for Smart was and is offensive efficiency and consistency. If Monken's offense can score 24 points in each game next season, it's hard to project the Bulldogs losing a game. That said, Georgia has its share of challenges on offense. Chief among those hurdles are growing an inexperienced receiving corps, and developing and scheming for a new quarterback. Georgia rising sophomore George Pickens is the key to the receiving corps. He's coming off a Sugar Bowl MVP performance, making 12 catches for 175 yards and a touchdown in the Bulldogs' 26-14 win over Baylor. Pickens, however, was hit with two suspensions his freshman campaign. The first involved an unspecified violation of team rules. The second came by NCAA rule after his well-publicized tangle at Georgia Tech. RELATED: Pickens apologizes to team for costly SEC title game suspension Pickens' growth and development as a person and potential leader will factor into Monken's future game plans where skill position players are concerned. Georgia has other receiver options returning and promising incoming freshmen. But none appear to have the game-changing dynamic Pickens presents. Georgia is also green in the backfield. Zamir White enters spring drills battling Kenny McIntosh for first-team reps. Rising junior James Cook and incoming freshman Kendall Milton have breakout talent. To this point, none of the backs have shown the dynamic game-breaking ability departing back D'Andre Swift flashed his first two seasons. It doesn't mean they won't, but expectations should be kept in check, Swift was special. The ultimate challenge, however, is at quarterback. Wake Forest graduate transfer Jamie Newman is considered the favorite to win the job in spring drills. Newman is coming to Georgia to throw more, and the Bulldogs are excited to have a quarterback who can run and scramble effectively. The two sides will meet somewhere in the middle, with Newman gaining experience in an offense that can transition into the NFL. Georgia also has redshirt junior Stetson Bennett, redshirt freshman D'Wan Mathis and incoming freshman Carson Beck in the quarterback room this spring. The final piece for Monken's success is the fit in the offensive meeting room, and the trust and chemistry he builds with Smart. Unlike Cleveland, Monken will be handed the keys, and he'll be surrounded by an all-star staff that includesJames Coley, Matt Luke and run game coordinator Dell McGee. Georgia football, unlike the NFL's Cleveland Browns, doesn't mess around. Georgia football offseason Kirby Smart lands Air Raid guru Todd Monken LSU DC Dave Aranda reveals UGA offensive game plan Mark Richt gives scout on FSU grad-transfer Tre Mckitty UGA provides status update on James Coley Numbers game: Comparing Jamie Newman to Jake Fromm Bulldogs' safety headed for Ole Miss RELATED: Cade Mays makes stunning Rocky Top Hop Projected starting Georgia lineman returning from injury PODCAST: Brandon Adams discusses Todd Monken addition The post New Georgia OC Todd Monken trades total mess' for championship quest appeared first on DawgNation.
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  • ATHENS Georgia coach Tom Crean always talks to his team about 'taking what the game gives you,' but on Saturday night at Mississippi State, UGA might need a different approach. Indeed, Crean's young and undersized team will have to take even when the game isn't giving them any breaks or advantages. Coach Ben Howland's maroon-clad Bulldogs lead the SEC in rebounding margin, the very area Crean's vertically challenged canines are most often challenged to measure up. 'I mean, every game we come in here talking about how important the rebounding is and now we're playing the league leader,' said Georgia coach Tom Crean, who has just two players 6-foot-9 or taller. 'That part of it is tough.' Mississippi State features two starters who are even taller, center Abdul Ado (6-11, 255) and power forward Reggie Perry (6-10, 250). The teams tip off at 8:30 p.m. (TV: SEC Network) at the so-called 'Hump.' Officially known as Humphrey Coliseum, Mississippi State's arena which some say resembles a cake from the outside has a smaller, intimate setting similar to Stegeman Coliseum with a capacity of 10,575. Georgia brings an 11-5 overall mark and 1-2 SEC record into the action. Mississippi State is 10-6 and 1-3 in league play. UGA is looking for what would be its first consecutive league wins under Crean, who is now in his second season. Georgia is also looking to play its way into NCAA tournament contention, and it will likely take a .500 record in league play or better for that to happen. It's Crean's first trip to Starkville, and he may be forced to make it without the playing services of Sahvir Wheeler, who fellow freshman Anthony Edwards refers to as 'the heart of the team.' Wheeler suffered an ankle injury in the second half of Georgia's resounding 80-63 blowout win over Tennessee. Crean made it clear on Friday that Wheeler is questionable, having just managed to walk through the Thursday workout. 'You just have to deal with it, and if he can't it is what it is,' Crean said. 'You just go. Right? That's why you try to develop and try to get multi-dimensional versatile guys. Obviously he's a huge factor.' If Wheeler is out, Georgia will rely more heavily on senior graduate transfer Donnell Gresham along with Edwards at the point. Edwards, named a second-team, mid-season All-American by the Sporting News earlier this week, is averaging 19.1 points per game this season, second in the SEC. Georgia, with its size deficiency, will also need another signature performance from 6-9, 245-pound junior Rayshaun Hammonds. Hammonds is averaging 14.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, and he's coming off a 21-point, 5-rebound in the win over the Vols. Mississippi State represents UGA's fifth-straight game against teams that played in the NCAA tournament last season. The Bulldogs are 2-2 in the past four, winning on the road against then-No. 9 Memphis 65-62 on Jan. 4 and hammering Tennessee in Athens on Wednesday night. The losses were to No. 13 Kentucky (78-69) and then-No. 5 Auburn (82-60). Last year's home loss to Mississippi State featured one of the most bizarre endings in Stegeman Coliseum history. WATCH: Stuffed bulldog triggers decisive technical foul in UGA home loss A small stuffed bulldog toy was thrown on the court in the final moments, resulting in a technical foul that helps swing the game State's way, 68-67. Georgia had rallied from 17 down to tie the game at 67-67. DawgNation Georgia Basketball Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Anthony Edwards says UGA didn't play tough enough vs. Kentucky Georgia basketball delivers signature Top 10 win at Memphs Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener Georgia freshman already making basketball history The post Georgia basketball looks to get over the hump at Mississippi State appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football is the No. 1 topic every day on DawgNation Daily the daily podcast for Georgia Bulldogs fans. Catch up on everything happening with UGA athletics with host Brandon Adams and the DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss coach Kirby Smart's quest to return the Bulldogs to the top of the SEC. On episode No. 1,112 (Jan. 17, 2020) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about Georgia's new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Georgia football podcast: What the Todd Monken hire means for UGA Beginning of the show: News of Todd Monken's hiring broke right as DawgNation Daily began Friday. I'll discuss my thoughts on Monken on the show including how his recent stops as an assistant with the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Bucs and as a head coach at Southern Miss could influence his play calling at UGA. 10-minute mark: DawgNation's Connor Riley joins the show to react in the moment, and I take comments from DawgNation Daily listeners and viewers. 20-minute mark: DawgNation's recruiting insider Jeff Sentell joins the show to react to Monken's hiring and preview a major UGA recruiting weekend including a visit by five-star quarterback Brock Vandagriff. 45-minute mark: I take a look at other SEC headlines including LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda leaving the Tigers to become Baylor head coach, more fallout from Odell Beckham Jr.'s dreadful post-national championship celebration and Tennessee hyping former UGA offensive lineman Cade Mays' presence on campus. 50-minute mark: I preview a busy weekend for UGA athletics beyond football. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: What the Todd Monken hire means for UGA appeared first on DawgNation.