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Atlanta Braves say Ronald Acuna Jr. day-to-day with mild abdominal strain

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An MRI performed on Ronald Acuna Jr. showed he has a mild abdominal strain and he is day-to-day, the Atlanta Braves announced Monday.

The star outfielder left the Braves’ blowout victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night in the fourth inning with the injury.

Acuna had reached base via a walk in the top of the fourth but was attended to by Braves trainers after advancing to second on a walk to Freddie Freeman a few moments later.

After eventually scoring from third base on a sacrifice fly, Acuna didn’t come out to play the field in the bottom of the inning. He was replaced in the lineup by Johan Camargo. It’s believed Acuna aggravated the ailment diving back into first on a pickoff throw.

Acuna has been the Braves’ best hitter in the early going, having reached base in his past 13 games, including on Sunday. He is hitting .419 this season. He wasn’t needed on Sunday as the Braves hit four first-inning home runs and compiled two six-run innings in their 13-4 victory, taking two of three from the Cubs over the weekend.

ESPN’s Jesse Rogers contributed to this report.

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Jarred Kelenic has Mariners ‘excited’ as first MLB homer keys big night

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SEATTLE — At two minor league levels, the first hit for prized Seattle prospect Jarred Kelenic was a home run.

Same start in the majors.

Kelenic made his first career hit extra memorable with a two-run homer and later added a pair of doubles, leading the Mariners to a 7-3 win over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.

After going hitless in his big league debut Thursday night, Kelenic brought the Seattle crowd to its feet with a long ball in the third inning. He stayed with an off-speed pitch from Aaron Civale, but still had the power to drive it 403 feet out to right-center field.

The ball was clocked at 109.3 mph off the bat, and Kelenic’s sprint around the bases seemed just as fast. He embraced fellow young Seattle star Kyle Lewis in the dugout with a bear hug and tipped his cap to the fans when their standing ovation didn’t stop.

“I didn’t even know that that’s what they wanted, until people were like, ‘Get out there.’ I didn’t know what was going on until I realized that everyone was standing up,” Kelenic said. “But that’s something I’ve always imagined.”

Kelenic, 21, became the youngest Mariners player to homer since Adam Jones in 2006 and joined Lewis in hitting a home run for their first major league hits. Lewis did it in September 2019.

Kelenic also homered for his first hits at Class A Modesto in 2019 and with Triple-A Tacoma earlier this month.

“A lot to get excited about. Big night for him tonight and his family and our team quite frankly,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “It’s loud in here, guys are excited, they know what he can bring and he’s going to continue to have fun, that’s for sure.”

Kelenic added a pair of hustling doubles in the fifth and seventh, the second scoring Sam Haggerty to give Seattle a 5-1 lead.

Kelenic became the fifth player in Mariners history with three or more hits in his first two career games, and the first since Carlos Guillén in 1998. Kelenic also is the 18th player in baseball history with three or more extra-base hits in his first two career games.

“I’m a competitor. I want to win. I want to bury our opponents, each and every night,” Kelenic said. “It really bugs me when I give away at-bats or if I don’t execute on what I’m trying to do.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Kansas City Royals 3B Hunter Dozier to IL, Chicago White Sox 1B Jose Abreu day-to-day after collision

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Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu and Kansas City Royals third baseman Hunter Dozier both left Game 1 of Friday’s doubleheader after they collided in the second inning.

Dozier, who left with a quad contusion and neck discomfort, was placed on the seven-day concussion injured list, and the club recalled Kelvin Gutierrez from Triple-A Omaha prior to Game 2 of the doubleheader.

Abreu is day-to-day after leaving the game with a facial contusion, laceration and bruised left knee. The initial assessment for a concussion was negative.

“He’s doing well enough that he wants to play the second game [of the doubleheader],” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “He’s bruised. He’s sore. It could have been worse. … There’s a sense of relief.”

The nasty collision occurred after Dozier popped up right in front of home plate. As Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal and Abreu converged on it, Dozier started to run to first base, and, while avoiding Grandal, he ran right into Abreu, who was looking up at the ball.

The two hit the ground hard. They lay next to each other for several moments as they were attended to by their respective training staffs. Eventually, both walked off the field with assistance.

“It was extremely scary in the moment,” White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito said. “That was a big collision. [Abreu’s] taking some hits and gets right back up. After a minute, he got up and said he was fine and could keep playing. That’s the type of player that he is. He’ll do anything for this team.

“It was a huge relief going in and seeing he’s good, in high spirits. He’ll probably be back playing tomorrow.”

Abreu is the reigning AL MVP and a big part of Chicago’s success this season. Dozier has been struggling and is in the midst of an 0-for-31 skid. Grandal took over at first base, and Zack Collins came in to catch for the White Sox. Hanser Alberto took over at third base for the Royals, who ended up snapping an 11-game skid with the 6-2 win.

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New York Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton (quad) out; Aaron Hicks has torn tendon sheath

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BALTIMORE — In addition to their COVID-19 outbreak woes, injuries have started piling up for the New York Yankees, with Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks out of the lineup for Friday night’s series opener against the Baltimore Orioles.

Stanton was scratched from the lineup about an hour before first pitch due to left quad tightness, the club announced, replacing him with catcher Gary Sanchez batting fourth in the DH spot.

Manager Aaron Boone also revealed during his pregame media availability that Hicks, who had undergone imaging after suffering from left wrist soreness, was diagnosed with a torn tendon sheath.

Stanton’s career in pinstripes has had a seemingly never-ending list of trips to the IL. Nonetheless, this season he has been one of the few shining spots in a Yankees lineup that has failed to live up to its preseason expectations. Stanton is the Yankees’ leader in almost every offensive category, including home runs (9), RBIs (24) and slugging (.534).

The Yankees did not give additional details on Stanton’s status, but Boone said before the game that he was so encouraged by his conditioning that the team was considering having him work out in the outfield. Stanton has been deployed solely at DH in the 33 games he has started this season.

Hicks, like most of the Yankees’ hitters, has been subpar at the plate, hitting just .194/.294/.333 with four home runs this season.

Boone said that Hicks, a switch-hitting 31-year-old, is currently taking anti-inflammatory medication to treat the wrist injury, which might require just an IL stint or even allow him to return to the lineup in the next few days. But it’s possible that Hicks could potentially need season-ending surgery.

“The MRI did reveal that he tore the sheath that holds the tendon in place. He started some medicine and we’ll see how he responds in the next couple of days. Sometimes that works and kind of declares itself at that point. Surgery could be on the table at some point, as well. But we won’t know that for a couple of days,” Boone said. “I think it could go either way. In these cases, it seems like a lot of times, the medicine works and knocks it out. If not, then surgery could be on the table.”

Boone said that Hicks’ type of injury cannot be traced back to a particular play, and that it could have happened even up to “a couple of years ago.” A torn wrist tendon sheath is an injury similar to the one suffered by former Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira in 2013, which allowed him to play all but 15 games that season.

In other injury news, Rougned Odor, who is eligible to come off the 10-day IL on Saturday, has not fully recovered from a right knee sprain. Boone said Odor could return during the Yankees’ four-game set against the Texas Rangers later in the week but hinted that his return was more likely to happen during the club’s next homestand. The Yankees traded for Odor after the Rangers designated him for assignment ahead of the start of the 2021 season.

It wasn’t all bad news on the injury front for the Yankees Friday night, with Boone announcing that he expected shortstop Gleyber Torres, who was placed on the COVID IL after testing positive for the coronavirus Thursday, to return to the team “real soon.”

The Yankees are still dealing with a coronavirus outbreak that has affected eight members of their traveling party, including first-base coach Reggie Willits, third-base coach Phil Nevin and pitching coach Matt Blake. Torres is the only player to have tested positive during the club’s current outbreak.

Boone did say that one of the individuals who tested positive has already registered at least one negative test, but did not name that person. Players who test positive for COVID-19 have to isolate for a minimum of 10 days, but the MLB/MLBPA joint committee is able to clear them earlier if they are completely asymptomatic and have multiple negative laboratory PCR tests.

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