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Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homers twice, ties Braves' Acuna for MLB lead

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homers twice, ties Braves' Acuna for MLB lead
Toronto Blue Jays infielder Vladimir Guerrero Jr. crushed two home runs, but his team still lost to the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday in Dunedin, Fla. File Photo by Steven J. Nesius/UPI | License Photo

May 25 (UPI) -- Toronto's Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit two home runs for a total of nearly 900 feet in a loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night, which tied him for Major League Baseball's home run lead.

Guerrero hit the pair of home runs in the 14-8 setback at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Fla., which is the temporary home field for Toronto.

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The home runs tie him with Atlanta's Ronald Acuna Jr., who hit his 15th homer of the season in the Braves' win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.

The Rays took a 5-0 lead in the first inning when Taylor Walls drew a walk with the bases loaded for the first run. Joey Wendle followed with a grand slam.

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Blue Jays left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. smacked his third homer of the season in the bottom of the second inning.

Guerrero, who grounded out in his first at-bat, returned for his second plate appearance in the bottom of the fourth. The Blue Jays infielder hit the first pitch he saw from Rays starter Ryan Yarbrough to dead center field for a 461-foot solo homer. The blast had an exit velocity of 117 mph, according to Statcast.

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Teoscar Hernandez hit another home run for the Blue Jays in the next at-bat, which cut the deficit to two. Guerrero returned in the bottom of the eighth and tied the score with his second homer of the day.

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Rowdy Tellez started that half inning with a leadoff triple. Marcus Semien and Bo Bichette followed with strikeouts, which brought Guerrero to the plate with two outs.

The Blue Jays slugger fell behind 1-2, but proceeded to work the court even. He then smashed a 2-2 slider to left center field for a 384-foot, two run homer.

The Rays regained the lead with two runs in the top of the 10th inning. Semien then tied the score with a two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th.

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The Rays responded with a seven-run 11th inning to take control of the game.

Guerrero, 22, went 2 for 5 with three RBIs and two runs scored in the win. He owns a .333 batting average with 39 RBIs, in addition to his 15 homers, this season.

Acuna, 23, is hitting .276 with 31 RBIs for the Braves.

The Blue Jays (23-23) next travel to face the New York Yankees (28-19) at 7:05 p.m. EDT Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. Right-hander Corey Kluber, who threw a no-hitter in his last start, will pitch for the Yankees. Left-handed pitcher Steven Matz will start for the Blue Jays.

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