Freeman, Braves pound Cubs 13-4, lose Acuña to injury

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Atlanta Braves Freddie Freeman hits a solo home run against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Sunday, April 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

CHICAGO – The Atlanta Braves say it's next man up when it comes to their rash of injuries so far this season.

They might need a few men to step up if Ronald Acuña Jr. has to go on the injured list.

Acuña's abdominal strain cast a shadow over Atlanta's 13-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night, even after the Braves bashed four homers in the first inning against Kyle Hendricks.

Freddie Freeman, Travis d'Arnaud, Ehire Adrianza and Guillermo Heredia connected during Atlanta's fast start, and Heredia added his first career grand slam in the sixth for his first multihomer game. But the Braves' big concern after the win was the status of Acuña, who departed in the fourth after he got banged up during a tough trip around the bases.

“He's got an abdominal strain, and we'll know more tomorrow,” manager Brian Snitker said.

Snitker said he isn't sure if Acuña is going to need a stint on the IL.

“It was so late here that they couldn't get the test that they wanted, so they'll get it tomorrow in New York and, like I said, we'll know more then,” he said.

The loss of Acuña for any significant chunk of time would be a tough blow for Atlanta, which has been hit hard by injuries. The dynamic outfielder began the day with a .433 batting average, seven homers, 16 RBIs and 20 runs scored.