Benches clear twice in Braves-Marlins game after Ronald Acuna Jr. hit by pitch

Atlanta Braves rookie Ronald Acuna Jr., who had homered in five straight games -- the last three against the Marlins -- was hit by the first pitch from Miami starter Jose Urena Wednesday night, leading to a benches-clearing scuffle.

Urena and Braves manager Brian Snitker were ejected. Snitker had angry words for the pitcher as he led the first exodus from Atlanta's dugout toward the mound.

The pitch that hit Acuna was clocked at 97.5 mph, the fastest pitch Urena has ever thrown to open a game, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

Acuna was hit near his left elbow and remained on the ground a few minutes as players from both sides shouted at one another, pushing and shoving.

Order appeared to be restored until Acuna walked near the mound on his path to first base, took off a protective wrap and tossed it toward the mound. That led to players again spilling out of both dugouts and bullpens. No punches were thrown.

Acuna eventually was able to get up and walk down to first base to run the bases. But in the top of the second inning, Acuna, who had been flexing his left arm as he took his position in left field, signaled to the bench and came out of the game. There was no immediate word on his possible injury.

Snitker was ejected by third-base umpire Paul Nauert, the crew chief. After the melee calmed down, the umpires huddled and then home plate umpire Chad Fairchild ejected Urena and warned both benches. That led to a protest from Marlins manager Don Mattingly.

Elieser Hernandez replaced Urena.

According to Elias, because of Rule 9.23, Acuna's streak of homering in five straight games remains intact because he was hit by the pitch in his only plate appearance. They have not yet determined if the leadoff home-run streak of three games remains intact.

Urena has a history of control problems. Entering the game, he was tied for second in the National League with 10 hit batters. He tied for the major league lead with 14 hit batters in 2017.

Urena is the fourth starting pitcher in the live-ball era to hit the only batter he faced in a game, according to ESPN Stats & Information data. (Bob Shaw in 1965, Scott Elarton in 2001 and John Lackey in 2009 were the first three.) All four were ejected from the game.

The 20-year-old Acuna entered the game on a rare power streak. He hit two homers in Tuesday night's 10-6 win over the Marlins. He became the first player to hit leadoff shots in three straight games since Baltimore's Brady Anderson led off with homers in four straight games in 1996.

He tied the Atlanta record of five straight games with a homer, set by Brian McCann in 2006.

Adam Duvall replaced Acuna in left field.

The Associated Press was used in this report.