NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly two decades after the height of the Steroids Era, Major League Baseball is on track to break its season record for home runs on Tuesday with nearly two weeks left in the season.

There were 5,663 home runs hit through Sunday in this Summer of the Slugger, 30 shy of the record set in 2000 at the height of performance-enhancing drugs. Long balls totaled 5,610 last year, an average of 2.31 per game, and this year's average projects to 6,143 — up from 4,186 in 2014.

In just three years, home runs will have increased by 1,957 — an extra 149 miles of long balls or 15 miles more than the driving distance between Philadelphia's Citizen's Bank Park and Washington's Nationals Park.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says: "Players are bigger and stronger. They're playing a little differently, in terms of the way they swing. Pitchers throw harder. The one thing I remain comfortable with: Nothing about the baseball, according to our testing, is materially different."


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