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Flaherty tired of Acuna's 'antics': 'He can talk all he wants'

Dilip Vishwanat / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. had something to say to Jack Flaherty on Wednesday after the St. Louis Cardinals right-hander hit him with a pitch in the fifth inning of what was a 13-1 game.

Flaherty offered a response to Acuna's complaints following the Cardinals' series-clinching victory over the Braves.

"We've got two strikes on him, we were trying to go in," Flaherty said, according to Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat. "If we're gonna go in, we're gonna go in tight. It hit him and he took exception to it. That's the guy he wants to be, that's how it is.

"He's been having all his antics all series. The guy hits a ball off the wall, he gets a single out of it. So he wants to take exception to it? He can do whatever he wants. He can talk all he wants."

Those "antics" came in Game 1 of the National League Division Series when Acuna slowly trotted to first base on a long fly ball he believed would be a home run. The ball ended up bouncing off the wall and Acuna managed just a single.

Acuna would homer in that contest when he took Cardinals closer Carlos Martinez deep in the ninth. Martinez took exception to the way Acuna rounded third base, saying postgame that "I simply want him to respect the game and respect me as a veteran player."

After allowing three earned runs and blowing a save in Game 3, Martinez threw up-and-in on Acuna, who stared down the Cardinals pitcher and yelled at the team's dugout after getting to first base.

St. Louis now shifts its focus to an NLCS showdown with the Washington Nationals.

"Series is over. It's done with. We're moving on," Flaherty told reporters.

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