Video: MLB breaks a 17-year record for most home runs hit in a single month

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Justin Smoak hit the most significant home run of his career on Friday afternoon, smoking a 1-1 pitch from the Red Sox’ Doug Fister just over the center field fence to put the Blue Jays up 3-0 in the first inning. It was his 22nd homer of the season, eclipsing the career-best 20 home runs he hit with the Mariners back in 2013. According to MLB Stat of the Day, it was also the 1,070th home run recorded in June, an all-time best single-month record that edges out the collective 1,069 home runs hit during May 2000.

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Smoak’s blast was followed by 23 more, including a two-run shot from Wilson Ramos, a three-run drive by Adam Duvall, Jose Abreu‘s 443-foot bomb, Todd Frazier‘s solo shot, Joey Gallo‘s blistering 113-m.p.h. home run, Joey Rickard‘s third homer, a two-RBI run from Rougned Odor, Eric Hosmer‘s 10th home run, a game-tying home run from Troy Tulowitzki, Todd Frazier’s solo drive, Charlie Blackmon‘s tie-breaking homer, a two-run shot by Paul DeJong, Stephen Vogt‘s shutout-snapping home run, a 420-foot blast by Mike Moustakas, Austin Barnes‘ grand slam, Brandon Belt‘s first home run in a week, Steven Souza Jr.’s three-run extra-inning homer, solo shots from Mark Trumbo and Mike Zunino, another long drive from Vogt, Brett Gardner‘s seventh-inning slam, Chris Owings‘ 10th knock of the season and Robinson Cano‘s three-RBI home run against the Angels.

Per MLB.com’s Andrew Simon, that’s 81 more home runs than the league totaled last June, at just 1,012. With eight games still left to finish on Friday evening, Major League Baseball’s new record currently stands at 1,093 home runs in the month of June.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.