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ATLANTA — Juan Soto’s season has been historic for a 19-year-old and that would normally make the Washington Nationals outfielder a lock for National League Rookie of the Year.Not in 2018 , though, with the way 20-year-old outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. is performing for the Atlanta Braves.The phenoms will be on the field together for the last time this season Sunday as the National League East-leading Braves (83-65) and disappointing defending two-time champion Nationals (75-74) conclude their three-game series.Article continues below ...“You’re seeing two premium young players in baseball right now,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “You’ve got to appreciate the way they play the game. It shows how mature they are at that age.”Acuna was a home run short of the cycle in his first three at-bats against three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer in the series opener Friday night and Soto became the second youngest player to reach 20 homers in the same game.Soto had his homer streak snapped at four games in Saturday’s 7-1 victory by the Nationals but extended his on-base streak to 20 games with a hit and three of Washington’s 14 walks. He also stole three bases.Soto, who has drawn 74 walks in 103 games, is batting .304 with 72 runs scored and 63 RBIs. Acuna, who had his first four-hit game Friday, has a .296 average with 25 homers, 71 runs scored, 55 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 97 games.Acuna joined the Braves on April 25 and Soto was promoted May 19. The only thing that has stopped either since is Acuna’s monthlong stay on the disabled list because of a knee injury suffered at the end of May.Acuna, who moved into the leadoff spot after the All-Star break, and Soto have regularly put on shows when the Braves and Nationals play.Acuna has batted .424 in 33 at-bats with three home runs, a triple and three doubles, and six RBIs in seven games against the Nationals.Soto has four homers and nine RBIs in 12 games versus the Braves while batting .289 with 12 walks.They appear to have established a mutual admiration society despite their competition for NL Rookie of the Year.“I’m having fun sharing the field with him,” Acuna said through a translator.“Everything he does is fun,” said Soto, also through a translator. “I keep watching him.”Braves second-year left-hander Sean Newcomb (12-8, 3.82 ERA) will try to break a four-game pratfall at SunTrust Park as he opposes veteran Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark (8-15, 4.37) in the finale of the 1-1 weekend series.Newcomb is 0-3 with 10.70 ERA in his past four home starts, yielding 21 runs and 33 hits in 17 2/3 innings. But he is coming off a strong road outing at San Francisco, tossing six innings of one-run ball and not issuing a walk for the second time in his 47 career starts.Newcomb is 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in three starts against the Nationals this year.Roark has posted an 8.62 ERA in his past three starts but has had mostly career success against the Braves.Although he’s 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in three games (two starts) this season Roger Maris Jersey , Roark is 7-5 with a 3.08 ERA lifetime against Atlanta in 22 games (15 starts).Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte is 12-for-29 with a homer against Roark,and Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon is 4-for-9 with two doubles against Newcomb. ATLANTA (AP) — Slugging rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. was hit by a pitch before he could take the Marlins deep again, but Dansby Swanson filled the power void for Atlanta, hitting a two-run homer that led the Braves to a 5-2 win over Miami on Wednesday night.Acuna, who had hit leadoff homers in the last three games and homered in five straight overall, didn’t get a chance to extend the streak. Jose Urena plunked him on the left elbow with a fastball on his first pitch of the day, triggering a melee. Benches and bullpens for both teams emptied onto the field twice after the pitch. No punches were thrown. Urena and Braves manager Brian Snitker were ejected.Acuna instead became the 11th batter to be hit by a pitch from Urena this season, tied for the most in the National League. Trainer George Poulis hovered over Acuna, who sat on the ground near the batter’s box while players swarmed near the mound. Acuna left the game in the second inning. He took his position in left field and then walked off the field. There was no immediate update on Acuna’s apparent injury.The NL East-leading Braves, who began the night two games ahead of Philadelphia, have won five straight. The last-place Marlins have lost five straight and eight of nine.Kevin Gausman (7-9) allowed two runs in six innings. A.J. Minter pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 12 opportunities. Jarlin Garcia (1-2) was the loser.MARINERS 2, ATHLETICS 0, 12 INNINGSOAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Light-hitting Dee Gordon homered off Yusmeiro Petit in the 12th inning to break a scoreless tie and Seattle beat Oakland to avoid a three-game sweep.Jean Segura had four hits to help Seattle close within 2 1/2 games of the A’s for the second AL wild card.Seattle’s Mike Leake pitched eight innings of two-hit ball with six strikeouts and one walk. Oakland’s Brett Anderson went 7 2/3 without allowing a run in his longest outing since June 16, 2015.Nick Martini had three hits for the A’s and Matt Olson added two. Oakland entered the day one game behind first-place Houston.Both teams squandered numerous scoring opportunities before Seattle scraped together two runs on one hit. After Petit (5-3) got leadoff man Denard Span to ground out, Mike Zunino walked. Gordon hit the next pitch over the right-field wall. Gordon’s only other home run was a solo shot against Cleveland on April 1 in Seattle’s third game of the season.James Pazos (3-1) retired one batter for the victory. Edwin Diaz pitched the 12th for his major league-leading 47th save in 50 opportunities.DODGERS 4, GIANTS 3, 12 INNINGSLOS ANGELES (AP) — Brian Dozier’s sacrifice fly in the 12th inning gave Los Angeles the victory over San Francisco, ending a five-game losing streak.The struggling Dodgers bullpen coughed up a 3-0 lead in the eighth when rookie Caleb Ferguson gave up a three-run homer to Andrew McCutchen.But Los Angeles held San Francisco scoreless over the four innings that followed, with Pedro Baez (4-3) throwing the final two innings to earn the win.Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu Phil Rizzuto Jersey , making his first start since suffering a serious groin injury on May 2, was brilliant in his return. He threw six scoreless innings, holding the Giants to three hits without allowing a walk and striking out six.Yasmani Grandal led off the 12th with a double against Casey Kelly (0-1) and was singled to third before Dozier’s flyball ended it.PHILLIES 7, RED SOX 4PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Wilson Ramos had three extra-base hits and three RBIs, helping Philadelphia beat Boston in his first game with his new team.The Phillies remained two games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East. They split a two-game interleague series with the major league-leading Red Sox for the second time in three weeks.Ramos, the two-time All-Star catcher acquired from Tampa Bay on July 31, made a big impact after missing a month because of a strained hamstring. He hit his second career triple and first in seven years leading off the bottom of the sixth, chugging around the bases after his liner off Joe Kelly (4-1) to right-center took an odd bounce off the wall. Ramos scored on pinch-hitter Scott Kingery’s sacrifice fly to give the Phillies a 4-3 lead. He hammered a two-run double with two outs in the seventh off Drew Pomeranz to extend the lead to 6-3 and scored on Maikel Franco’s single.Seven relievers combined to allow one unearned run in 6 2/3 innings. Tommy Hunter (4-2) earned the win by getting one out in the sixth. Seranthony Dominguez got the last four outs for his 13th save.CUBS 8, BREWERS 4CHICAGO (AP) — Anthony Rizzo homered, drove in three runs and stole two bases in his return to the cleanup spot, and Chicago beat Milwaukee to restore a three-game lead in the NL Central.Jason Heyward added three hits and two RBIs to help Chicago bounced back from a 7-0 loss in the opener of the two-game series. David Bote had two hits, scored twice and made barehanded play at third base in his first action since he hit a game-ending grand slam Sunday night against Washington.Kyle Hendricks (9-9) struck out eight in six-plus innings on his bobblehead day.Wild card-leading Milwaukee had a chance to inch closer to Chicago, but instead lost for the fourth time in six games. Junior Guerra (6-8) lasted just 3 2/3 innings, and first baseman Eric Thames committed an error that helped set up a run.The Brewers also lost left fielder Ryan Braun and catcher Manny Pina to injuries. Braun departed with tightness on the right side of his rib cage, and Pina was pulled after he collided with Javier Baez while he was diving back to second in the seventh.METS 16, ORIOLES 5BALTIMORE (AP) — Kevin Plawecki hit his first career grand slam during a nine-run sixth inning, Brandon Nimmo went 5 for 5 with three RBIs and New York pounded Baltimore.Todd Frazier homered and drove in four runs to help the Mets earn a split of the two-game interleague series. A home run by Wilmer Flores in the ninth enabled the Mets to reach a season high in runs.Zack Wheeler (8-6) gave up one run and five hits over five innings to win his sixth straight start. The right-hander was removed from the game by manager Mickey Callaway after the Mets sent 12 batters to the plate in a lengthy sixth against Dylan Bundy (7-11) and three relievers.In the eighth, Mets backup third baseman Jack Reinheimer got his first major league hit, a single up the middle off Cody Carroll.RAYS 6, YANKEES 1NEW YORK (AP) — Mallex Smith hit a two-run homer Brett Gardner Jersey , rookie Brandon Lowe got his first two major league hits and Tampa Bay beat New York.Kevin Kiermaier, who was mired in a 4-for-46 slump in August, had two hits, scored a run and drove in one for the Rays. They have won seven of their past nine games against New York.Reliever Ryan Yarbrough (11-5) then entered and was credited with the win after shutting down the Yankees over four scoreless innings. He allowed only two hits and struck out three.Tampa Bay took advantage of an ineffective Luis Cessa (1-3), who was recalled from Triple-A before the game to make a start in place of an injured CC Sabathia.Miguel Andujar homered for New York.ASTROS 12, ROCKIES 1HOUSTON (AP) — Evan Gattis and Tyler White hit two homers each, Yuli Gurriel added a two-run shot and Houston routed Colorado to snap a five-game skid.Gerrit Cole (11-5) struck out 12 and the defending World Series champions stopped a nine-game home losing streak with their first win in Houston since July 14, their last game before beginning a 10-game road trip. Houston’s five home runs were a season high, and the run total was more than the Astros managed in their last four games combined.The win, combined with Oakland’s loss to Seattle, helped the Astros extend their lead in the AL West to two games, with a series against the Athletics coming up next.Tyler Anderson (6-5) was the loser.BLUE JAYS 6, ROYALS 5KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Curtis Granderson hit a grand slam, Marco Estrada pitched effectively into the seventh inning and Toronto beat Kansas City.Jorge Lopez (0-2), who was making his Royals debut after being acquired July 27 from Milwaukee as part of the Mike Moustakas trade, threw a 2-0 fastball that Granderson drove over the Royals’ right-field bullpen gate with two outs in the fourth inning.It was Granderson’s 10th career grand slam and his second this year, both against the Royals. The first was April 18 in Toronto. He has 19 home runs and 50 RBIs in 106 games against Kansas City. Royals pitchers have yielded a major league-leading 10 grand slams.Estrada (6-9) gave up four runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings to pick up his first career victory at Kauffman Stadium. Salvador Perez homered twice for Kansas City.CARDINALS 4, NATIONALS 2ST. LOUIS (AP) — Marcell Ozuna homered and Austin Gomber tossed six shutout innings to lead St. Louis past Washington for its season-high eighth straight victory.The Cardinals are 18-9 since the All-Star break and have won sixth successive series.Daniel Murphy homered in the ninth for Washington, which has lost four in a row and seven of nine to fall below .500 and nine games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East.Ozuna homered in the second inning , his 14th of the season and his first since July 30.Gomber (3-0) gave up three hits, struck out six and walked four. Bud Norris pitched the ninth to pick up his 23rd save. Jeremy Hellickson (5-3) was the loser. He left in the fifth inning after colliding with Harrison Bader on a play at the plate following a wild pitch.TWINS 6, PIRATES 4MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Logan Forsythe had three RBIs, the Minnesota bullpen tossed 5 1/3 shutout innings and the Twins beat Pittsburgh.Oliver Drake, Gabriel Moya (3-0), Tyler Duffey and Taylor Rogers scattered five hits and struck out three before Trevor Hildenberger picked up his third save in four chances.Minnesota is 16-4 in its last 20 home games.Forsythe’s two-run single off reliever Edgar Santana (2-2) highlighted a three-run sixth as the Twins took a 5-4 lead. Bobby Wilson homered in the seventh.Josh Harrison had three hits for the Pirates.ANGELS 3, PADRES 2SAN DIEGO (AP) — Rene Rivera hit a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning in his return from a long stay on the disabled list, and Los Angeles Angels completed a three-game sweep of San Diego.Reinstated from the 60-day DL before the game, Rivera connected for a solo shot into the second deck in left field against San Diego closer Kirby Yates (4-1). The former Padres catcher had missed 76 games with right knee inflammation.Jose Alvarez (5-3) pitched a scoreless eighth to earn the win for the Angels, their seventh in nine games. The sweep was Los Angeles’ sixth of the season. Blake Parker retired the side in the ninth for his 12th save. The Angels’ Cory Spangenberg tied it at 2 in the seventh with a solo home run.WHITE SOX 6, TIGERS 5DETROIT (AP) — Jose Abreu and Matt Davidson each hit two-run home runs to lift Chicago past Detroit.The White Sox have won two in a row after losing six of seven. The Tigers have lost nine of 12.Carlos Rodon (4-3) improved to 3-0 in his last seven starts, giving up three runs on five hits and a walk in eight innings. Luis Avilan got Victor Reyes to fly out to shallow center, earning his second save.Jordan Zimmermann (5-5) took the loss, allowing six runs on nine hits, including the two home runs.INDIANS 4, REDS 3CINCINNATI (AP) — Melky Cabrera lofted a go-ahead two-run homer into the left-field seats in the sixth inning, and Cleveland beat Cincinnati for its fifth straight victory.The Indians held the Reds scoreless after a three-run first. In the sixth, Cody Reed (0-1) walked Yonder Alonso before allowing Cabrera’s third homer of the season.Dan Otero (2-1) got Phillip Ervin to fly out with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth to earn the win. Brad Hand worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth for his 28th save.
11-01-2018, 11:23 PM
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