MLB scores: Cubs' Anthony Rizzo homers in surprising return to lineup; Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. makes history with 40th homer
Thursday brought us an abbreviated schedule, but it was not lacking in games with postseason implications. There were important game with postseason implications played in Atlanta, the Bronx, Milwaukee and Chicago today. Here’s everything you need to know about Thursday’s MLB action.
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Baseball scores for Thursday, September 19
Rizzo homers in surprising return to lineup
On Wednesday, Anthony Rizzo was wearing a boot on his right foot and using a scooter to get around. On Thursday, he went deep in a crucial game against the NL Central leading Cardinals. , and of course he went deep.
Here is Rizzo’s Willis Reed-ian dinger:
Rizzo received a cortisone shot Monday and is playing with the ankle heavily taped. It boils down to pain tolerance. Rizzo is not 100 percent but he is playing anyway because these games are so important, and, of course, he delivered the homer.
The Cardinals came into Thursday with a three-game lead over the Cubs and Cardinals. Chicago and St. Louis will play four games this weekend at Wrigley Field and.
Acuna youngest with 40/30 season
With the homer, Acuna became just the third player in MLB history to hit 40 homers in an age-21 (or younger) season. Acuna, who will turn 22 in December, joins Hall of Famers Eddie Mathews (21 years old, 1953) and Mel Ott (20 years old, 1940) as the only three to ever accomplish the feat.
Acuna also moved closer to another milestone. He’s three stolen bases shy of a 40/40 season, which hasn’t been accomplished in more than a decade. Only four MLB players have ever reached the feat: Jose Canseco (1988), Barry Bonds (1996), Alex Rodriguez (1998) and Alfonso Soriano (2006).
The Braves can officially clinch their second straight division title as soon as Friday with either a victory over the Giants or a Nationals‘ loss to Miami.
Brewers keep winning despite injuries
No team in baseball has more wins in September than the Brewers. Milwaukee won for the 14th time in 18 games this month on Thursday afternoon, beating the Padres behind a short but effective outing from trade deadline pickup Jordan Lyles. He struck out nine in 4 2/3 innings.
The Brewers have been without reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich since Sept. 10 and were without rookie second baseman Keston Hiura from Aug. 30 to Sept. 14. Despite that, the Brewers keep winning and they are right in the thick of the postseason race.
Thursday’s win moved Milwaukee a half-game ahead of the Cubs for the second wild-card spot, though the outcome of Chicago’s game is still pending.
Highlight of the Day: Hays robs Vlad Jr.
When we look back at Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s rookie season, he’ll have one fewer home run that he should have. Orioles rookie Austin Hays went up to rob Vlad Jr. of a home run at Camden Yards on Thursday. Look at this catch:
Goodness. That’s full speed and full extension with the catch at the top of the leap. Hays timed it perfectly. It doesn’t get much better than that.