Manny Machado hit a major milestone Saturday.
With the first game of a doubleheader tied 3-3, Machado faced a 2-2 count against Phillies reliever Matt Strahm. Strahm delivered a 94 mph fastball that caught the inside of the plate. Machado turned on the pitch and delivered it 425 feet into the second deck of the left-field stands at Citizens Bank Park.
The solo shot gave the Padres a 4-3 lead. Unfortunately for San Diego, it didn’t hold. The Phillies rallied for a 6-4 win thanks to a three-run bottom of the eighth.
For Machado, he becomes the 157th player to hit 300 career home runs. At 31 years old, reaching 400 isn’t out of the question. Machado’s coming off a season that saw him finish second in MVP voting while tallying 32 home runs.
Despite missing the All-Star game last week, he’s on a strong pace again this summer, thanks largely to a scorching hot July. Saturday’s home run was his fourth in three games and his eighth in July. He won’t likely be in the MVP conversation again, but he’s putting up strong numbers with a .260 average, 17 home runs and 51 RBI through 76 games.
The Padres need everything they can get from their slugging third baseman. A 44-48, they’ve got a lot of work to do to rally from fourth place in the NL West and into postseason contention.
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