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The Blue Jays ride the longball to a 2-0 lead over Texas

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Texas made it interesting late, but the Toronto Blue Jays’ early home run barrage put the Rangers into a hole too deep to climb out of. The Jays won Game 2 of the ALDS 5-3 and now head home to Toronto with a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five series.

Yu Darvish was supposed to restore order after the Jays pounded Cole Hamels but the Jays had different ideas. Troy Tulowitzki hit a two-run homer in the 2nd. In the fifth the Jays hit three solo homers off of Darvish, one each from Kevin PillarEzequiel Carrera and then Edwin Encarnacion. Meanwhile, the Rangers kept gathering hits off of Toronto starter J.A. Happ but stranded runners like it was their job. They only mustered one run off of Happ via an Ian Desmond RBI single in the fourth.

The sixth, seventh and top of the eighth inning went by quietly before the Rangers mounted a mini rally in the eighth. John Gibbons called on Francisco Liriano and Liriano struggled, giving up a leadoff double to Mitch Moreland, recording an out and then walking Robinson Chirinos. That brought up Carlos Gomez who lined a ball off of Liriano’s head, scoring Moreland and knocking Liriano out of the game, bringing in closer Roberto Osuna.

Osuna induced a groundout to make it 5-3, but then struck out Carlos Beltran to end the rally. He came back in for the ninth and, a double to Adrian Beltre notwithstanding — which should’ve been caught by Melvin Upton Jr. who was a nominal defensive replacement — completed the five-out save.

So now the Jays are in the driver’s seat. They get a flight back home this evening and a day off tomorrow before taking on the Rangers in Rogers Centre, up 2-0, for Game 3.

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.