By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves have reinstated outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. from the injury list more than a week ahead of the team’s target date for his return from knee surgery. Acuña is expected to hit leadoff in Thursday night’s game against the Chicago Cubs. He may initially split time between right field and designated hitter. The defending World Series champion Braves have struggled with an 8-11 record to start the season. The Braves will be looking for Acuña to provide a boost to their lineup. Acuña hit .368 with three stolen bases in six games with Triple-A Gwinnett.