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Jordan Hicks to undergo Tommy John surgery

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After being diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament, Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks will undergo Tommy John surgery on Wednesday, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Carlos Martínez will take over closing duties.

Hicks, 22, likely won’t return to action until the second half of the 2020 season. Prior to the injury, Hicks accrued 14 saves with a 3.14 ERA and a 31/11 K/BB ratio in 28 2/3 innings.

It was initially believed that John Gant would take over as the closer. Perhaps his struggles on Sunday, when he allowed four runs in one-third of an inning against the Angels, colored the decision.

Martínez, 27, made his season debut on May 18. In 13 appearances, the right-hander has allowed five earned runs on 11 hits and five walks with 14 strikeouts in 15 innings.

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.