Acuña hits grand slam to become first player with 30 home runs and 60 stolen bases

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Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr., right, hits a grand slam as Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Will Smith watches during the second inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LOS ANGELES – Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a long grand slam in the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night, becoming the first player in major league history with 30 home runs and 60 stolen bases in the same season.

Acuña sent a 429-foot shot to deep into the left field pavilion off Lance Lynn for his third career slam and first since 2021. Acuña has 36 career homers in August, his most in any month.

Acuña has 62 stolen bases.

Acuña and Dodgers star Mookie Betts are the leading candidates for NL MVP. Betts homered twice for the Dodgers in the series opener.

Betts hit a three-run, opposite-field homer to right with two outs in the fifth, cutting the Dodgers' deficit to 7-4. Acuña made a leaping grab at the wall but his glove was over the fence and the ball tipped off it.

Betts homered again with two outs in the seventh, a solo shot that drew the Dodgers to 8-6.

Rickey Henderson came close to being the first 30-60 player. He had 28 homers and 87 steals in 1986 with the New York Yankees, then 28 homers and 65 steals when he won MVP with Oakland in 1990.

Two players are in the 30-50 club: Eric Davis had 37 homers and 50 steals in 1987 and Barry Bonds had 33 homers and 52 steals in 1990, when he won his first of seven MVPs. Davis also had 27 homers and 80 steals in 1986, joining Henderson as the only members of the 20-80 club.

No one has had 40 homers and 50 steals in a season. There have been four 40-40 players: Jose Canseco in 1988, Bonds in 1996, Alex Rodriguez in 1998 and Alfonso Soriano in 2006.

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