D-backs’ Kevin Ginkel walks back, stares down Ronald Acuna Jr. in learning moment
Jul 19, 2023, 8:44 PM | Updated: 9:58 pm
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Kevin Ginkel picked up his second save of the season Wednesday against the Atlanta Braves, but the outing didn’t go off without a hitch.
Ginkel had two outs and a runner on third in a 5-2 game after allowing a leadoff double to Ronald Acuna Jr., who advanced on a fly ball by Ozzie Albies.
Acuna was not retreating to third base between pitches with 3B Evan Longoria playing off the bag. The run didn’t matter in the bigger picture, but Ginkel turned his attention to Acuna.
Ginkel halted the game to walk the All-Star back to third, staring at him the entire way and motioning with his glove for Acuna to get back to third.
We're not sure what's happening here. pic.twitter.com/ChOTQwDRc4
— Bally Sports South (@BallySportsSO) July 20, 2023
This, of course, led to Acuna taking an even bigger lead on the following pitch.
“We’ll get that tightened up,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said postgame. “Acuna was doing everything he was supposed to do. Kevin shouldn’t have paid any attention to that.”
Catcher Gabriel Moreno, second baseman Ketel Marte and shortstop Nick Ahmed went to the mound to check on their pitcher, who was still an out away from ending the game.
Ginkel walked Matt Olson and threw a wild pitch to Sean Murphy, allowing Acuna to score. The Braves outfielder gave Ginkel a look as he crossed home.
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) July 20, 2023
The reliever got the last laugh by forcing Murphy into a groundout to end the game, with the D-backs earning a 5-3 win to take the series at Truist Park.
Ginkel is one of five D-backs pitchers with a save this year and one of four with multiple, as the club continues to work closer by committee.
“I’m not going to give anybody that title,” Lovullo said. “I’m just going to match up the best I can.”
Ginkel struck out the side in his save on Tuesday to cap a 16-13 D-backs win.
The series finale is Thursday at 9:20 a.m. with Zac Gallen pitching against Atlanta ace Spencer Strider.
Catch the game on ESPN 620 AM, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.