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MLB roundup: Braves rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. pulls off rare feat in doubleheader sweep

Atlanta Braves rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. became just the fourth player in MLB history to hit a home run leading off both games of a doubleheader in a sweep of the Miami Marlins on Monday in Atlanta. (John Bazemore / Associated Press)
Atlanta Braves rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. became just the fourth player in MLB history to hit a home run leading off both games of a doubleheader in a sweep of the Miami Marlins on Monday in Atlanta. (John Bazemore / Associated Press)

Ronald Acuna Jr. pulled off one of the rarest feats in baseball history, hitting leadoff homers in both games of a doubleheader to send the first-place Atlanta Braves to a sweep of the Miami Marlins on Monday in Atlanta.

The 20-year-old rookie hit an opposite-field drive into the Braves’ bullpen in Game 1, powering Atlanta to a 9-1 victory. Haitian-American Touki Toussaint (1-0) pitched six strong innings to win his major league debut.

It was more of the same from Acuna in the nightcap. He sent a towering shot into the seats in left-center, sparking the Braves to a 6-1 victory behind another strong outing on the mound from Mike Foltynewicz (10-7).

Acuna appeared to be only the fourth player in big league history to hit a pair of leadoff homers in a doubleheader.

Merandy Gonzalez (2-1) took the loss in the second game after being called up from Double-A Jacksonville for his first career start.

Acuna hit his first leadoff homer off Pablo Lopez (2-3) and added a two-run double in the sixth, highlighting a five-run outburst that turned the game into a blowout.

Athletics 7, Mariners 6: In Oakland, California, Jed Lowrie drove in four runs to back Sean Manaea and Oakland held off a late Seattle rally to beat the Mariners in a matchup of A.L. West contenders.

Manaea (11-8) pitched into the eighth and bounced back from a season-low 2 2/3 innings against the Dodgers his last time out.

Second-place Oakland moved 2 1/2 games ahead of the Mariners, who had momentum coming off a four-game sweep at first-place and defending World Series champion Houston. Seattle had won six of eight. The idle Astros had their lead trimmed to two games over the A’s.

Jean Segura and Nelson Cruz hit consecutive RBI singles with two outs in the eighth, and the Mariners – who like the A’s have a knack for late-inning rallies – nearly pulled off a comeback. Seattle loaded the bases with none out in the ninth on three walks by Jeurys Familia before Blake Treinen relieved and allowed a run on a wild pitch and Mitch Haniger’s two-run single before closing it out for his 31st save. Cruz struck out swinging to end it with runners on first and second.

Cardinals 7, Nationals 6: In St. Louis, Paul DeJong handed Washington its second straight walk-off loss, capping a back-and-forth finish with a game-ending solo homer in the ninth inning for St. Louis.

DeJong took Koda Glover (0-1) deep on a 3-1 pitch. A night earlier, Ryan Madson allowed a game-ending grand slam in the ninth to the Chicago Cubs’ David Bote to end a 4-3 defeat.

Matt Carpenter kicked off a wild ending with a three-run, go-ahead homer during a four-run eighth inning for the Cardinals. It was his 17th homer during a 31-game on-base streak. Carpenter has homered in seven of his past 10 games.

Washington tied it at 6 in the top of the ninth on RBI singles by Daniel Murphy and Matt Wieters off closer Bud Norris. Dakota Hudson (3-0) stranded two runners.

Jedd Gyorko sparked St. Louis’ big eighth inning with a homer off Justin Miller. Jose Martinez had four hits for the Cardinals.

Washington’s injury-depleted bullpen has blown saves in three of its past four games. Juan Soto and Bryce Harper homered for the Nationals, who have lost five of seven.

Mets 8, Yankees 5: In New York, Jacob deGrom struck out 12 and the New York Mets backed him in a big way, hitting five home runs while battering Luis Severino and the Yankees in a makeup game at Yankee Stadium.

Amed Rosario led off this Subway Series matchup with a drive into the right-field seats and Jose Bautista, Todd Frazier, Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto later connected. The club’s best power show since June 2017 sent chants of “Let’s go, Mets!” bouncing all around Yankee Stadium.

Hurt by poor run support most of the season, deGrom (7-7) threw 6 2/3 innings and left with a major league-best 1.81 ERA. He allowed two earned runs and exited with a 7-3 lead.

Severino (15-6) was gone a lot earlier. Stuck in a rut that began before he pitched in the All-Star Game, the right-hander was tagged for seven hits and four runs in four innings.

Miguel Andujar hit a two-run homer in the Yankees eighth off Seth Lugo. Robert Gsellman worked the ninth for his seventh save.

The city rivals split their six games this year. This was a makeup from a rainout July 22.

Indians 10, Reds 3: In Cincinnati, Jose Ramirez connected for his 35th homer and Yandy Diaz hit a tiebreaking double in Cleveland’s seven-run sixth inning against Cincinnati.

Ramirez, Michael Brantley and Yan Gomes had three hits apiece as the Indians won for the fifth time in six games. Melky Cabrera and Jason Kipnis each drove in two runs.

The Indians increased their A.L. Central lead to 12 1/2 games over Minnesota after receiving an update from team president Chris Antonetti on the status of outfielder Leonys Martin, who is recovering from a life-threatening bacterial infection. Martin is in stable condition at the Cleveland Clinic.

Tucker Barnhart, Scooter Gennett and Curt Casali homered for the last-place Reds. Homer Bailey (1-10) was tagged for five runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Mike Clevinger (8-7) walked six in five innings, but got his first win since July 1.

Rangers 5, Diamondbacks 3: In Arlington, Texas, Bartolo Colon won his first start since setting the record for victories by a Latin American pitcher, going five innings to help Texas beat Arizona.

Robinson Chirinos hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the fourth to end Zack Greinke’s streak of nine straight starts allowing two runs or fewer. Chirinos added an RBI single in the eighth.

Colon (7-10) retired 10 consecutive batters after allowing run-scoring doubles by A.J. Pollock and Steven Souza Jr. in the first. The 45-year-old Dominican right-hander got his 247th career win, two more than Dennis Martinez of Nicaragua.

Ronald Guzman also homered off Greinke (12-8), who allowed six hits and four runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Colon gave up four hits and three runs while setting a Texas record with his 22nd straight start with two or fewer walks. He has won both his starts in August after losing all five in July.

Jose Leclerc earned his second save.

Royals 3, Blue Jays 1: In Kansas City, Missouri, Ryan O’Hearn homered and drove in a career-high three runs, Brad Keller threw seven strong innings and Kansas City beat Toronto to spoil Sean Reid-Foley’s major league debut.

Reid-Foley (0-1) was removed after allowing three runs in five innings. He is only the second player in major league history to be born in Guam.

O’Hearn, a rookie who entered batting .130 with three RBIs, homered off Reid-Foley with Brett Phillips aboard in the second. O’Hearn also walked with the bases loaded in the fourth.

Whit Merrifield had three hits as the Royals got their second victory in 11 games.

Keller (5-5) yielded one run and four hits. Wily Peralta closed for his seventh save.

Devon Travis homered early for the Blue Jays.

Tigers 9, White Sox 5: In Detroit, Nicholas Castellanos had a career-high five hits, including a go-ahead homer in the seventh inning, and drove in five runs as Detroit beat Chicago.

Castellanos singled in the first, doubled and scored in the fourth, hit an RBI double in the fifth and hit a two-run homer off Jeanmar Gomez (0-1) in the seventh. It was the sixth five-RBI game of his career, including one against the White Sox on June 16.

Castellanos came up again in the eighth with the bases loaded and two outs, needing a triple for the cycle, but settled for a two-run single that put the Tigers ahead 9-5.

Louis Coleman (4-1) got the win with a scoreless inning of relief. The Tigers are 9-1 against the White Sox this season.

Angels 6, Padres 3 (10): In San Diego, Kole Calhoun hit a tiebreaking double in the 10th inning and Justin Upton added a two-run homer to cap a four-run rally that carried Los Angeles past San Diego.

Jose Briceno homered early for the Angels, who got 7 1/3 solid innings from starter Andrew Heaney. Upton robbed pinch-hitter Eric Hosmer of a go-ahead homer in the eighth, making a catch above the left-field wall to leave Hosmer with a tying sacrifice fly.

Calhoun drove in Eric Young Jr. with a ground-rule double to put Los Angeles ahead. Shohei Ohtani scored on David Fletcher’s perfect squeeze bunt, and Upton made it 6-2 when he connected off Craig Stammen (5-2) for his 25th homer.

Briceno opened the 10th with a double but was thrown out at third by catcher Austin Hedges on Young’s bunt. Briceno was originally ruled safe, but the call was overturned after a replay review.

Young then stole second and Ohtani drew a pinch-hit walk to set up Calhoun’s big hit.

Blake Parker gave up a solo homer to Hosmer in the bottom half before earning his 12th save.

Giants 5, Dodgers 2: In Los Angeles, pinch-hitter Nick Hundley hit a two-run single in the ninth inning to give the Giants their first lead, and San Francisco rallied to hand the Los Angeles bullpen its fourth consecutive loss.

This time, the Dodgers wasted a masterful start by Clayton Kershaw, who held the Giants to one run on eight hits, all singles.

Hundley’s two-out single put San Francisco ahead 3-2. Gorkys Hernandez singled in another run, and the Giants scored one more on a fielding error by Max Muncy.

All the runs came against Scott Alexander (2-1), the Dodgers’ latest to struggle in the absence of closer Kenley Jansen.

Ray Black (2-1) pitched a scoreless eighth, and Will Smith worked the ninth to earn his ninth save in 11 opportunities.

Kershaw struck out nine and did not walk a batter, lowering his ERA against the Giants to 1.58 in 43 career starts.


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