When Bae Ji-hwan (Pittsburgh Pirates) ran hard, Ronald Acuna Jr (Atlanta Braves) flew hard.

Bae stole his 16th and 17th bases of the season at home against the St. Louis Cardinals on 5 May (ET). He is now tied for second in the National League in stolen bases with Starling Marte (New York Mets), who has surged in the stolen base race of late.

However, the news is not good for Bae, who has been struggling. Acuna, who is leading the National League stolen base race, has now stolen three bases in June, including two today. Acuna started in right field against the Arizona Diamondbacks and went 3-for-5 with a home run, two runs scored and two stolen bases.메이저사이트

Trailing 3-5 in the top of the seventh inning with the bases loaded, Acuna singled to Andrew Chaffin and stole second base off Matt Olson. Then, trailing 4-5 in the top of the ninth, he lined a single to right off Miguel Castro with the bases loaded and stole second off Olson for his 26th stolen base of the season.

Atlanta loaded the bases after Acuna’s steal, and Eddie Rosario hit a grand slam to right-centre field for an 8-5 victory. Both of Akuna’s stolen bases were 100 per cent pure, contributing significantly to the team’s scoring. When he’s hitting and playing this well, he’s the reigning National League MVP.

Acuna has stolen 26 bases this season, with five errors. That’s an 83.9 per cent success rate. If he plays in all 59 of Atlanta’s games this season, and assuming he plays in all 103 remaining games, he’ll add 45.4 steals, or a 71.4 steal pace for the season.

Acuna hasn’t had a dip in his batting pace in the first two months of the season. He was fine in May, batting .298 with seven doubles and 17 home runs, and he was hot in the first three games of June against Arizona, going 6-for-14 with a .429 average, one home run, four RBIs and three doubles. He’s well on his way to returning to the 70-steal era.

Acuna also moved to within two of Esther Ruiz (Oakland Athletics, 28 stolen bases) for the major league lead in stolen bases. There’s a good chance he could lead the majors in total stolen bases. The last major league player to steal 70 steals was Jacoby Ellsbury (Boston Red Sox) in 2009. Acuna is 14 years away from reaching the 70-steal mark.

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