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Howard crushes 300th career home run

Howard crushes 300th career home run

Howard crushes 300th career home run
PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Howard became the second-fastest player in Major League history to reach 300 home runs on Saturday, accomplishing the feat in just six more games than Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner.

The milestone came in the fourth inning of the Phillies' 8-2 loss to the Braves, when Howard crushed a 1-1 slider from Atlanta's Mike Minor off the center-field batter's eye at Citizens Bank Park. The home run -- Howard's 14th of the season after he missed the first three months following left Achilles surgery -- traveled an estimated 440 feet.

In Phillies lore, Howard's home run totals trail only Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt, who hit 548. Howard's 276 homers and 850 RBIs since the start of the 2006 season are the most in the Major Leagues.

Howard joins Chuck Klein at No. 134 on the all-time list, with Rogers Hornsby next at 301 dingers. Howard is ranked No. 25 among active players.

Saturday was Howard's fourth consecutive game with a home run. He's done that two other times in his illustrious career.

Manager Charlie Manuel said Howard, who was unavailable for comment following Saturday's game, has been doing a good job of staying strong on his backside and distributing his weight with his swing.

"He's swinging the bat pretty good," Manuel said. "He hit that last one pretty good. He hit that home run with a good swing. He smoked that home run. The ball looked like it was a cutter or slider down and away from him. He stayed on it. He's staying on the ball better. He's seeing the ball."

Jake Kaplan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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