By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a grand slam on his wedding night to become the first player with 30 homers and 60 stolen bases in a season, and the Atlanta Braves overcame a pair of Mookie Betts home runs to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-7 on Thursday night.
In a meeting of the top NL MVP contenders, the Braves took a 7-1 lead and hung on when Raisel Iglesias struck out Kiké Hernández with two on for the final out.
Acuña got married earlier in the day, then got three hits and helped the major league-best Braves improve to 88-45. He sent a 429-foot shot into the left-field pavilion off Lance Lynn (10-10) in a six-run second inning for his third career grand slam. Acuña has 36 career homers in August, his most in any month. He stole his 62nd base in the ninth.
Betts was 2 for 4 with four RBIs, three runs and two homers, giving him a career-high 38 on the season. His three-run, opposite-field drive to right with two outs in the fifth pulled the Dodgers to 7-4. Acuña made a leaping grab at the wall but his glove was over the fence and the ball tipped off it.
Twelve of the game’s 15 runs came on seven homers by the top two long-ball teams in the majors.
After Betts flied out to deep right leading off the ninth, Freddie Freeman walked and Will Smith singled, putting the potential tying and winning runs aboard. But Max Muncy flied out and Iglesias got his 27th save in 29 chances, his 18th in a row.
The Braves ended August with a 21-8 mark, trying the Atlanta-era record for wins in the month set by the 1999 club that went 21-7. Atlanta improved its MLB-leading record to 88-45.
The Dodgers finished the month with a 24-5 record and had their four-game winning streak snapped. They lead the NL West at 83-50.
With the Dodgers trailing 7-1, Betts hit a three-run homer in the fifth off Spencer Strider (16-4), who allowed four runs and four hits in six innings with nine strikeouts.
Michael Busch homered off Joe Jimenez in the seventh and Betts hit a solo shots that cut the Dodgers’ deficit to 8-6. His two base hits gave him 51 in August, the most in Los Angeles Dodgers’ history. Max Muncy went deep leading off the eighth, leaving the Dodgers trailing 8-7.
Acuña, Michael Harris II and Austin Riley were a combined 7 for 14 with seven hits and seven RBIs. Each of them homered, too, giving the Braves a major league-high 253 homers.
Lynn was tagged for seven runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Braves: INF Ozzie Albies got the day off and will play the rest of the series.
Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler (Tommy John surgery) will begin a rehab assignment Sunday. He’ll pitch one or two innings at Triple-A Oklahoma City and make at least three rehab starts before rejoining the Dodgers’ rotation. The goal is to build him up as a potential starter before the end of the regular season.
Atlanta’s Max Fried (5-1, 2.85 ERA) goes against fellow lefty Julio Urías (11-7, 4.41) on Friday.
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