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Albies hits 12th HR, ties with Bryce for NL lead

MLB.com @mlbbowman

MIAMI -- Ozzie Albies has steadily legitimized comparisons to the Astros' Jose Altuve. But like most other Major Leaguers, Altuve hasn't come close to matching the power numbers the vertically challenged Albies has produced during the early portion of his first season.

Albies added to the splendor of this year's accomplishments with a solo homer off Marlins right-hander Dan Straily during the third inning of Friday night's 6-3 loss at Marlins Park. The Braves second baseman's 12 homers matches Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the National League lead. Mookie Betts leads the Majors with 13 home runs.

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MIAMI -- Ozzie Albies has steadily legitimized comparisons to the Astros' Jose Altuve. But like most other Major Leaguers, Altuve hasn't come close to matching the power numbers the vertically challenged Albies has produced during the early portion of his first season.

Albies added to the splendor of this year's accomplishments with a solo homer off Marlins right-hander Dan Straily during the third inning of Friday night's 6-3 loss at Marlins Park. The Braves second baseman's 12 homers matches Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the National League lead. Mookie Betts leads the Majors with 13 home runs.

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Albies drilled the shot a projected 358 feet over the right-field wall. The 21-year-old, switch-hitting infielder has now tallied eight of his homers against right-handed pitchers. He hit his first grand slam on Thursday, becoming the youngest Braves player to hit one since a 20-year-old Andruw Jones on Aug. 31, 1997.

Video: ATL@MIA: Albies hits 1st MLB slam, gives Braves' lead

From a historical standpoint, Albies is enjoying the early days of his career in rare fashion. He now stands with Eddie Mathews (1953), Orlando Cepeda (1958) and Albert Pujols (2001) as the only players 21 years old or younger to tally at least 12 home runs through their team's first 37 games.

"That guy is unbelievable," Braves catcher Kurt Suzuki said. "I kind of saw it coming. I've always said pound-for-pound, he's got the most pop in the big leagues. I watch him [in batting practice] all the time. It's a joke. He's fun to watch."

In just his fourth month at the Major League level, Albies leads the NL in extra-base hits (26), runs (37), and total bases (97).

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves, Ozzie Albies