Pirates' Oviedo calls baseball 'soft' after Acuña exchange
Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Johan Oviedo called baseball "soft" after a run-in with Atlanta Braves superstar Ronald Acuña Jr. during his team's 8-4 win on Saturday.
"Why would I follow his game?" Oviedo said, according to MLB.com's Justice delos Santos. "All he wants is to get the ball off of him. … I was laughing because you already got your chance to do something about it. I don't know, man. Baseball has become a little bit soft. No one wants to get fastballs in. It's part of the game. You're going to get fastballs in."
Benches cleared between the two teams after Oviedo threw three inside fastballs to Acuña to begin the bottom of the first inning, with the third inside pitch brushing back the outfielder.
Later in the game, after tempers cooled, Oviedo threw another inside pitch to Acuña, which caused the Braves star to flash the pitcher another dirty look. Two pitches later, Acuña hammered a 109.7-mph pitch into right field for an RBI single, taunting Oviedo as he ran to first base.
The taunt didn't seem to bother Oveido, who said Acuña had a chance to do something about it when benches cleared.
“You never wait for a fight, but you have a man right in front of you. Why are you looking at me?" Oviedo said. "If you do that, you're trying to get something out of it. I'm not going to be provoked by what you're doing, because I'm trying to be locked in on my game. I'm trying to be smart about it."
Oviedo added: "If you're going to make that scene, make it for a reason. Don't just make a whole lot of noise, make everyone run to the field and the benches clear. It shouldn't happen. If you're going to stay chill about it, don't go over. Get mad and try to hit a homer off me or try to hit a single like he did."
The Pirates and Braves meet again on Sunday. It's the last game between the two teams this season.
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