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Ronald Acuña is on fire

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Ronald Acuña got a late start to the season as the Braves manipulated his service time and then got an unscheduled break in the middle of the season after being sidelined with an injury. That might have kept him from finding a groove for a time, but he’s certainly found it now. Indeed, the young man is on fire.

Acuna hit a leadoff homer against the Marlins’ Pablo Lopez in this afternoon’s game at SunTrust Park in Atlanta. The opposite-field blast was Acuña’s third leadoff homer of the season and the second he has hit within the past three days. He’s on an overall home run tear too, as he has homered in each of the Braves’ past three games. Nine of his 16 homers this season have come since moving to the leadoff slot on July 20.

For the year — as of this moment, as the game is still going on — Acuña is hitting .273/.332/.534. He’s on a 22-homer pace even though he’s going to play in not many more than 100 games this year. And he’s still just 20 years old.

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UPDATE: Acuña just doubled in two more runs, giving the Braves a 6-1 lead in the sixth inning. Make that batting line .276/.335/.539. Right after that Ozzie Albies knocked in two more. It’s a rout.

Yankees pound Hyun-Jin Ryu, beat Dodgers 10-2

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“We haven’t had many games like this,” Dodgers manager Dave Robert said after last night’s loss to the Yankees. That’s for sure.

There were no wild walkoff hits. There were no home runs by Dodger batters. There were two, including a grand slam, from Didi Gregorius, however, and he and New York batters pounded Hyun-Jin Ryu, perhaps the stingiest pitcher in baseball this year, for seven runs on nine hits in four and a third as the Yankees beat the Dodgers 10-2 in Dodger Stadium.

Aaron Judge, who has been slumping something terrible, opened up the scoring with a solo home run in the third. Two batters later Gary Sánchez matched him with a blast of his own. An A.J. Pollock RBI single in the bottom half of the inning made it a 2-1 game but after that the Yankees stepped on the gas with a five-run fifth highlighted by a Didi Gregorius grand slam. Gleber Torres would homer in the sixth, Judge would single home a run in the eighth and Gregorius would strike again in the ninth with a solo homer for his second blast of the night. That one gave the Yankees 57 bombs in the month of August, which sets a team record. There’s still a week left in August too.

As for the Dodgers, Ryu was uncharacteristically rusty, though it probably should be noted that this was his second poor outing in a row. struggled through his second straight sub-par outing. The last time out he lost to Atlanta. allowing all four Braves’ runs in 5 2/3 innings as the Dodgers fell 4-3. His ERA came in to this game at a still-MLB-best 1.64, but those seven runs in fewer than five — his shortest outing in nearly two months — puffed it up to an even 2.00.

The Yankees scored just nine runs in their three losses in Oakland. Last night they beat that by one. And they brought themselves to within one game of the Dodgers for the best record in all of baseball, which would determine home field in the World Series should these two powerhouses meet.

For now, though, Roberts is limiting the implications of all of this to Friday night, saying “fortunately, it only counts for one loss.” Yep. But man, it was an ugly one.