ATLANTA – Ronald Acuna Jr. says he had never before failed to hustle out of the batter's box.
Braves manager Brian Snitker made a bold move to make sure it never happens again with the 21-year-old All-Star outfielder.
With Acuna banished for styling instead of sprinting, Rafael Ortega stepped up with a sixth-inning grand slam that lifted Atlanta to a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
Acuna was pulled before the fifth inning after failing to run out a drive to right field in the third. The ball bounced off the wall for a long single — Acuna almost certainly would have had an easy double.
"He didn't run. You've got to run," Snitker said. "It's not going to be acceptable here. As a teammate you're responsible for 24 other guys. That name on the front is a lot more important than the name on the back of that jersey."
Snitker followed Acuna into the tunnel for a conversation during the fourth inning before Adam Duvall entered the game in left field in the fifth, with Ortega moving from left to center.
"That was the decision the manager took and I respect his decision," Acuna said through a translator, adding that he "obviously wasn't thinking."