Major League Baseball hitters have punctuated a power-packed year by shattering the record for most home runs in a season.
Jonathan Villar of the Baltimore Orioles connected Wednesday night for the 6,106th homer. That topped the mark of 6,105 set in 2017.
There are plenty more to come, too – the record was broken with 18 days left in the regular season. The rise in home runs during recent seasons has been tied to changes in the baseballs that have made them fly farther.
Villar’s three-run shot off Caleb Ferguson of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camden Yards was the 22nd home run of the night. It was Villar’s career-high 21st homer.
“Somebody told me after the homer. That’s unbelievable,” Villar said. “That’s impressive for me, not for me, it’s for the team because we hit it here. That’s awesome. They put the bat in the Hall of Fame. I’m excited for that.”
The Orioles have allowed a record 280 homers.
“The home runs are up everywhere and it’s tough to keep the ball in the ballpark. It’s tough to keep the ball in this ballpark on a humid night when the ball was traveling,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said after a 7-3 win. “I’ve seen enough home runs here from the other side so it’s nice to get one from our side.”
New York Mets rookie Pete Alonso leads the majors with 47 home runs.
The Minnesota Twins top the majors with 277 after Jorge Polanco connected in the third inning against Washington ace Stephen Strasburg at Target Field. The Twins’ total is the most for a team in a single season.
In August, big league batters broke the monthly home run record for the third time this year when they hit 1,228 home runs, the Elias Sports Bureau said. That surpassed the 1,142 in June and 1,135 in May.
There were 5,585 home runs last year.
In 2017, Alex Gordon hit the record-breaking 5,694th homer of the season. That topped the mark set in 2000 at the height of the Steroids Era.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports