Kolby Allard, supported by a 19-hit attack that included three home runs, won his major league debut and the Braves beat the Miami Marlins 11-6 on Tuesday night.
“We started together in rookie ball, so I’ve seen him pitch since then,” said Acuna, who hit one of the Braves’ three homers. “It was just as I expected. He’s a great pitcher.”
Allard (1-0), a 2015 first-round draft pick, said he didn’t have his best stuff. He allowed five runs, four earned, on nine hits and two walks in five-plus innings.
“I went out there and battled,” Allard said.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said Allard “didn’t look overwhelmed” and wasn’t affected by rain that delayed the start of the game by 1 hour, 27 minutes. The young pitcher was optioned back to the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate Gwinnett Stripers after the game.
Allard became the second 20-year-old to start a game for the “Baby Braves” this season, following Mike Soroka, who made five starts. Acuna also is 20.
It was just two years ago that Allard, along with Acuna, Soroka and Max Fried, was playing for the low-Class A Rome Braves the year the team won the South Atlantic League championship.
On Tuesday, Allard singled in his first major league at-bat after collecting only one hit in 39 at-bats in his minor league career.
“Check that box off: first game, first win and first hit,” Allard said.
Allard also reached base in the fourth, when first baseman Miguel Rojas bobbled his bunt following back-to-back doubles by Ender Inciarte and Dansby Swanson. The error helped to set up the Braves’ five-run inning, capped by Kurt Suzuki’s bases-loaded, three-run double past third baseman Martin Prado.
Luke Jackson pitched three perfect relief innings with four strikeouts while Suzuki hit a three-run double in Atlanta’s five-run fourth.
Acuna drove in two runs with three hits, including a leadoff homer in the first. Nick Markakis added a two-run homer and Johan Camargo also homered.
Inciarte had four hits and Freddie Freeman had three with an RBI as Atlanta tied its season high for hits.
The Braves, who have won three straight, remained one-half game behind first-place Philadelphia in the NL East.
J.T. Realmuto homered in the fifth off Allard, who was pulled after giving up three straight hits, including a run-scoring single by Magneuris Sierra, to open the sixth. Sierra drove in two runs with three hits.
Dan Straily (4-5) allowed eight runs, five earned, on 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings.
“They obviously hit him around pretty good,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He just didn’t seem to be sharp.”
Marlins: RHP Tayron Guerrero (left lumbar strain) came off the disabled list and was clocked at 102 mph before giving up Camargo’s homer in the sixth. Guerrero will move into what Mattingly said will be a “high-leverage spot ... some tough innings and some tough assignments” following the Ziegler trade.
Braves: RHP Arodys Vizcaino, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list on July 14 for the second time this season with right shoulder inflammation, is “still a long ways from starting to throw,” Snitker said. Vizcaino has 15 saves and a 1.65 ERA. ... RHP Peter Moylan (right forearm strain) was placed on the 10-day disabled list.