Ronald Acuna approaches another milestone home run

Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. hits a home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)
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Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. hits a home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

Credit: AP

Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna hit a missile of a home run Tuesday. The 116-mph shot was the hardest-hit blast of his career.

It also was his 99th career homer. Acuna is trying to reach 100 career home runs the third earliest ever. He’s playing in his 368th game tonight; Aaron Judge of the Yankees ranks third, having reached the plateau in 371 games.

Besting Judge are former Phillies slugger Ryan Howard, who hit his 100th homer in his 324th game, and Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who reached 100 homers in game No. 355.

Acuna, 23, is having a stellar season. He’s hitting .288/.395/.621 with 18 homers, 38 RBIs and an MLB-leading 48 runs scored. Acuna’s 2.4 offensive bWAR ranks 10th best in the majors.

Braves notes:

- The Braves won three in a row to get back to .500 entering Wednesday. They earned those wins off three aces: The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Bauer, and the Phillies’ Aaron Nola.

“It seems like every time we turn around we’re against one of those types of guys,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “But that’s good. It shows what we’re capable of. We’re a good team. I think the guys believe that. I believe that. Sometimes in this sport, things don’t go as you planned or as you wanted it to. That’s why we keep showing up every day, working and grinding through things to get where we want to go. We’re not there yet, but we’re starting to scratch the surface of what we’re capable of.”

- The Braves have reached .500 four times previously but lost multiple games in a row after getting to that point. They’re one of three teams that hasn’t been over .500 during 2021, joining the last-place Rangers and Marlins.