Acuna inches toward becoming first 40-60 player

ATLANTA -- Spencer Strider wore a Ronald Acuna Jr. 30-60 T-shirt and said: "He's going to negate the shirt pretty quickly."

New T-shirts with 40-70 may be needed soon.

Acuna homered twice on his bobblehead night and stole his 67th base, leaving him one home run shy of becoming the majors' first 40-60 player, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-3 on Tuesday night to stop a four-game losing streak.

"I just thank God I've been able to stay healthy," Acuna said through a translator. "I feel like if I am healthy I am able to do the things I've done."

Strider (18-5) increased his major league-leading wins total and struck out 11 to increase his big league-high total 270 with his 17th career double-digit strikeout game, his 11th this season.

Acuna homered on the first pitch of the game from Cristopher Sanchez (2-5) and had another solo homer off Yunior Marte in the sixth.

"The ability to go out and get the lead the first pitch of the game is unbelievable," Strider said. "The guy is the most talented player on the planet."

Acuna has a Braves record 33 leadoff homers, including seven this season -- three on the first pitch. Of his 205 hits this season, 51 have come in the first inning.

No player has ever had 40 home runs and 60 steals in a season, much less 40 homers and 70 stolen bases. Fans chanted "MVP! MVP!" after Acuna singled off Michael Lorenzen in the fifth and stole second.

"He's just putting together a special, special year," Braves Manager Brian Snitker said.

National League East champion Atlanta avoided what would have been its first five-game skid since September 2017. Marcell Ozuna drove in three runs with three hits, including a two-run double in the fifth, as the Braves outhit the Phillies 13-4.

Philadelphia, while second in the NL East, leads the NL wild card race.

MARLINS 4, METS 3 Jake Burger hit a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning and host Miami beat New York after blowing a late lead.

BREWERS 7, CARDINALS 3 William Contreras homered and Tyrone Taylor scored twice and drove in a run as Milwaukee beat host St. Louis. Milwaukee stopped a two-game skid and reduced its magic number to clinch the NL Central to six.

CUBS 14, PIRATES 1 Alexander Canario's grand slam in the eighth was the first of his career as host Chicago routed Pittsburgh.


ORIOLES 9, ASTROS 5 Austin Hays hit two home runs, and Ryan O'Hearn and rookie Heston Kjerstad (Arkansas Razorbacks) each added another as Baltimore beat host Houston for its fourth consecutive victory.

RANGERS 6, RED SOX 4 Josh Jung hit a tiebreaking single in a two-run seventh inning, and host Texas beat Boston, ending a four-game losing streak,

RAYS 6, ANGELS 2 Osleivis Basabe hit a tiebreaking two-run double in a four-run eighth inning and host Tampa Bay beat Los Angeles.

BLUE JAYS 7, YANKEES 1 George Springer celebrated his 34th birthday with his 57th career leadoff homer, Bo Bichette hit a two-run drive and Toronto beat host New York.

ROYALS 7, GUARDIANS 6 MJ Melendez homered and drove in three runs as host Kansas City Royals beat Cleveland.


TWINS 7, REDS 0 Willi Castro hit a two-run homer and made two spectacular catches, Kenta Maeda combined on a four-hitter and visiting Minnesota beat Cincinnati, taking another step toward their third AL Central title in five seasons.

NATIONALS 4, WHITE SOX 3 Joey Meneses pinch-hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning, and host Washington defeated Chicago.