MLB sets all-time home run record

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Major League Baseball hitters 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. Baltimore entered Wednesday having allowed a record 279 home runs.

New York Mets rookie Pete Alonso began the day with a major league-leading 47 home runs.

The Minnesota Twins led 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 Sunday. 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.

COLLEGES

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The NCAA Board of Governors wants California Gov. Gavin Newsom to reject a new attempt to pay college athletes.

And it is prepared to take the fight to court if necessary.

In a six-paragraph letter released Wednesday, the board urged Newsom not to sign the legislation known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, which would allow college athletes to be paid for the use of their names, likenesses and images. The move comes two days after approval of the measure by the California Assembly, with the state Senate expected to consider the measure later this week.

HORSE RACING

NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Times says Justify won the 2018 Triple Crown after a failed postrace drug test at a California track that could have kept the horse out of the Kentucky Derby.

The newspaper reported Wednesday that Bob Baffert-trained Justify tested positive for the drug scopolamine after winning the Santa Anita Derby, one of the final prep races for the Kentucky Derby. Justify went on to win the Derby and took the Preakness and Belmont stakes to complete the Triple Crown.

The Times said instead of a speedy disqualification, the California Horse Racing Board took more than a month to confirm the results. The newspaper also reported that instead of filing a public complaint, the board made decisions behind closed doors as it moved to drop the case and lighten the penalty for horses found to have scopolamine in their systems.

GOLF

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Rory McIlroy has been voted PGA Tour player of the year over Brooks Koepka after posting the most top-10 finishes and winning the FedEx Cup.

It's the third time McIlroy has won the Jack Nicklaus Award, and the first without having won a major.

OBITUARY

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Sam Davis, the guard who helped the Pittsburgh Steelers win four Super Bowls in the 1970s, has died. He was 75.

Davis was found dead Tuesday at New Life Personal Care in McKeesport southeast of Pittsburgh. Davis, who suffered from dementia and was legally blind, had been reported missing from the facility earlier in the day. There was no evidence of foul play according to the McKeesport Police Department's Facebook page .

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