The first matchup between the two teams with the best records in the American and National Leagues squaring off did not disappoint, and it was the Braves that came out on top in round one.
Nick Markakis led off the 11th inning by reaching base on an error by Gleyber Torres and two batters later, Acuna blasted a 1-2 curveball from Robertson just over the glove of a leaping Aaron Judge.
The Yankees had multiple chances to take the lead and win the game, too, but failed to capitalize, with perhaps their best chance coming in the 10th inning.
With Didi Gregorius on first and one out, Aaron Hicks roped a double down the rightfield line which would have won the game, but it took a big bounce into the stands for a ground rule double, which held Gregorius up at third base.
The Braves decided to intentionally walk Miguel Andujar for reliever Jesse Biddle to face Greg Bird with the bases loaded. Biddle got Bird to go down swinging at an 0-2 fastball then struck out Austin Romine to end the threat.
"Biddle really buckled down the last two hitters," Aaron Boone said. "He was a little bit out of the zone, we had some good at-bats and then he started making pitches."
The Yankees also wasted opportunities with runners in scoring position in the seventh and eighth innings.
Yankees starter Jonathan Loaisiga grinded through four innings, tossing 92 pitches and allowing three runs with most of his trouble coming in the fourth inning after he allowed a one-out double to Markakis.
The 23-year-old right-hander then battled with Kurt Suzuki in an 11-pitch at-bat before the Braves catcher ripped an RBI double past a diving Miguel Andujar. Acuna followed up with another RBI double down the third base line to give the Braves a 3-2 lead.
Torres went 3-for-4 with two singles, a double and two runs scored for the Yankees. The 21-year-old rookie manufactured a run himself in the third with a leadoff double. He then took third base on a wild pitch and scored on another wild pitch one batter later, which gave them a 2-1 lead at the time.
He also scored the tying run in the fifth inning on a sac fly from Didi Gregorius after singling and reaching second on an error by Acuna.
Judge supplied the Yankees’ other run with a solo homer in the first inning.
PLAY OF THE GAME
With two outs in the third and Torres on third base, Braves starter Anibal Sanchez threw a pitch in the dirt that got away from Suzuki. Torres raced home forcing Suzuki to act quickly but the Braves catcher threw the ball away from Sanchez, who was covering home, as Torres slid in safely to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead.
The Yankees had the Braves on the ropes in the 10th inning with a ground-rule double by Hicks to set up second and third and one out. The Braves chose to intentionally walk Andujar and then Biddle got Bird and Romine to both strike out to end the Yankees’ biggest threat of the game.
STAR OF THE GAME
Ronald Acuna Jr.: The Braves left fielder delivered the big blow, a two-run shot over the glove of Judge and into the right-center field seats to give Atlanta a 5-3 lead and win.
STAT OF THE DAY
Torres is the second Yankees rookie age 21 or younger with at least 10 doubles and 15 home runs in a season, joining Joe DiMaggio.
Sam Freeman: The Braves lefty reliever walked the first two batters he faced in the seventh but escaped his own jam, getting Judge to fly out and Gregorius to ground into an inning ending double play.
Kyle Higashioka/Neil Walker: The two batted eighth on Monday and combined to go 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and leave the hot-hitting Torres waiting on deck to end the inning with runners on base three times.
Tuesday vs. Atlanta, 7:05 p.m.; TV: YES
RHP Domingo German (2-4, 5.34) vs. LHP Sean Newcomb (8-2, 2.71)