Atlanta Braves rookie left fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. joined some elite company Monday when he homered to lead off both games of a doubleheader sweep against the visiting Miami Marlins.
Acuna homered to start the first game, a 9-1 Atlanta win, and duplicated the feat in the second game, which Atlanta won 6-1 at SunTrust Park.
Acuna became the fourth player to homer as the leadoff hitter in both ends of doubleheader, joining Harry Hooper of the Boston Red Sox in 1913, Ricky Henderson of the Oakland A’s in 1993 and Brady Anderson of the Baltimore Orioles in 1999.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Acuna, 20 years, 238 days old, also became the youngest player ever to homer in four consecutive games. The old mark was set by Florida Marlins’ Miguel Cabrera in 2004 when he was 20 years, 362 days old. Acuna was 3-for-5 with two runs, his 17th home run and two RBIs in the nightcap after going 2-for-3 with three RBIs in the first game.
Cardinals 7, Nationals 6
Paul DeJong hit a walk-off homer leading off the bottom of the ninth inning as St. Louis defeated visiting Washington.
The Nationals’ bullpen struggled once again, giving up five runs, all of which came on homers in the final two innings. Koda Glover (0-1) allowed the DeJong solo blast, which came on a 3-1 pitch. It was the second straight night Washington’s bullpen gave up a walk-off homer.
The Cardinals turned a 4-2 deficit into a 6-4 lead in the eighth on a solo homer by Jedd Gyorko and a three-run shot from Matt Carpenter. The Nationals tied it in the top of the ninth on RBI hits from Daniel Murphy and Matt Wieters.
Giants 5, Dodgers 2
Pinch hitter Nick Hundley delivered a go-ahead, two-run single in the ninth inning as San Francisco pulled out a victory at Los Angeles.
The Giants scored four runs with two outs in the ninth inning, all off left-handed reliever Scott Alexander (2-1).
Ray Black (2-1) tossed a scoreless inning for the victory, while Will Smith pitched the ninth inning for his ninth save. Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw struck out nine in eight innings of one-run ball, and Giants starter Madison Bumgarner gave up two runs in six innings.
A’s 7, Mariners 6
Sean Manaea pitched 7 2/3 strong innings, and Oakland held off a late rally to defeat visiting Seattle.
Matt Chapman and Jed Lowrie, the Nos. 2-3 hitters in the A’s lineup, each went 3-for-5. Chapman hit three doubles and drove in two runs, and Lowrie had two doubles and four RBIs as Oakland extended its lead over the Mariners to 2 1/ 2 games for the AL’s second and final wild-card playoff berth.
Manaea (11-8) allowed two runs on five hits to beat Seattle for the second time in three tries this season.
Angels 6, Padres 3 (10 innings)
Justin Upton capped a four-run 10th inning with a two-run homer as Los Angeles scored a victory at San Diego in the opener of a three-game interleague series.
Jose Briceno opened the top of the 10th with a double but was thrown out at third trying to advance on a bunt by Eric Young Jr. After Young stole second, Padres reliever Craig Stammen (5-2) walked pinch hitter Shohei Ohtani.
Kole Calhoun followed with a deep fly to right-center that fell between closing outfielders Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe and bounced over the wall for a ground-run double, scoring Young. David Fletcher squeezed home Ohtani for the second run before Upton’s 396-foot homer to left-center.
Mets 8, Yankees 5
Jacob deGrom struck out 12 in 6 2/3 innings, and the New York Mets slugged two of their season-high five homers off a slumping Luis Severino in a victory over the host New York Yankees.
DeGrom (7-7) allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits, but unlike most of his starts, those runs did not cost him a win. He won his second straight start after going 0-5 with a 2.47 ERA in his previous seven.
The ace right-hander recorded his second straight double-digit strikeout game, seventh this season and 28th career. DeGrom allowed three runs or fewer for the 21st straight time, the second-longest single-season streak in team history. He is three behind Dwight Gooden, who set the mark in 1985 when he went 24-4.
Indians 10, Reds 3
Yandy Diaz’s pinch-hit double sparked a seven-run sixth inning as Cleveland knocked off host Cincinnati in the opener of a three-game series.
Diaz’s one-out drive to left-center off Homer Bailey gave the Indians a 3-2 lead. Greg Allen, who reached on a single and stole second base, scored on Diaz’s double for the go-ahead run.
Indians starter Mike Clevinger (8-7) snapped a four-game losing streak. The right-hander yielded two runs on five hits and a career-high six walks while striking out four over five innings.
Tigers 9, White Sox 5
Nicholas Castellanos had the first five-hit game of his career, including a go-ahead, two-run homer, and drove in five runs to power host Detroit past Chicago.
Castellanos rapped two singles and two doubles to go along with his homer while scoring twice. James McCann contributed three hits and scored three runs, while Victor Reyes and Jeimer Candelario each scored two runs and drove in another.
Louis Coleman (4-1) pitched an inning of scoreless relief to collect the win.
Rangers 5, Diamondbacks 3
Robinson Chirinos hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the fourth inning and added an insurance run with an RBI single in the eighth as host Texas beat Arizona.
The Rangers snapped a two-game losing streak. The Diamondbacks lost for the third time in four games.
Bartolo Colon (7-10) earned the victory after allowing three runs on four hits in five innings.
Royals 3, Blue Jays 1
Ryan O’Hearn hit a two-run home run and had three RBIs, Brad Keller pitched seven strong innings, and Kansas City defeated visiting Toronto.
Keller (5-5) held the Blue Jays to one run, four hits and two walks while striking out four. Wily Peralta pitched around a walk in the ninth inning to earn his seventh save of the season.
Whit Merrifield added three hits for the Royals in the opener of a four-game series. Kansas City did not commit an error for a franchise-record 13th consecutive game.