Josh Hamilton doubles at Double-A, nears return to Rangers

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Josh Hamilton began a minor-league rehab assignment Wednesday at Double-A, going 1-for-3 with a double as he comes back from a strained left hamstring.

He’s expected to move to Triple-A for a game Thursday and is aiming to come off the disabled list early next week after being out for three-plus weeks so far.

Hamilton missed the first six weeks of the season recovering from shoulder surgery and substance abuse relapses, being traded (or having his contract dumped) from the Angels to the Rangers. He looked good early on for Texas, hitting .273 with two homers, two doubles, four walks, and a 1.021 OPS in seven games before getting hurt again.

Ronald Acuña Jr. reaches a rare home run milestone

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Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. hit his 40th home run in today’s 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. In so doing he become only the third player to hit 40 homers at age 21 or younger, joining Hall of Famers Mel Ott and Eddie Matthews, who hit 42 and 47, respectively, before turning 22. Ott was only 20 in fact.

Home run marks are a dime a dozen this year, of course, so maybe you want to discount Acuña’s accomplishment. Even if you do, though, you can’t discount his wheels. He didn’t have a stolen base this afternoon but he does have 37 on the year and has over a week to swipe three more. If he does he’ll become a member of the exclusive 40/40 club. It’s only current members: Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano.

The Braves win clinches at least a tie for the NL East title. They’ll clinch the division outright if either they win or the Nationals lose tomorrow.