NEW YORK — Strikeouts exceeded hits in the major leagues for the second time in three months, a deviation that had never occurred before this year.

There were 6,776 strikeouts and 6,640 hits in June, the Elias Sports Bureau said Sunday. That leaves the season totals at 21,090 strikeouts and 20,671 hits about halfway through the season.

Strikeouts had topped hits in a full month for the first time in April, when then there were 6,656 strikeouts and 6,360 hits. The previous low differential was in April 2017, when there were 138 more hits than strikeouts.

There were 7,033 hits and 6,971 strikeouts in May.

Strikeouts per game averaged 16.9 in June, up from 16.75 in May but down from 17.5 in April, which was a record for a full calendar month. Strikeouts have set a record for 10 consecutive seasons, and this year’s rate projects to 41,464. That would shatter last year’s mark of 40,104; the total was 32,884 in 2008.

There have been 2,822 home runs in 1,236 games, an average of 2.26. That represents a drop from 2.52 last year through June, when there were 3,024 in 1,199 games.

The average climbed from 1.90 before the 2015 All-Star break to 2.17 in the second half that year, then rose to 2.31 in 2016 and a record 2.51 last season.

Thus far this season, 32 percent of 94,241 plate appearances ended without a batted ball in play: 21,090 strikeouts, 8,081 walks, 952 hit batters and 23 catcher’s interference calls.

BREWERS: Milwaukee optioned struggling shortstop Orlando Arcia to Triple-A Colorado Springs and recalled right-hander Aaron Wilkerson.

The 23-year-old Arcia hit .197 in 66 games. He hit .277 in his first full year last season.

The 29-year-old Wilkerson, a former Portland Sea Dog, pitched in three games last September for the Brewers, going 1-0 with a 3.48 ERA. This is his first appearance with Milwaukee this season.

PHILLIES: Philadelphia placed right-hander Vince Velasquez on the 10-day disabled list with a bruised forearm a day after he made a dazzling throw with his left hand.

Velasquez was hit just below the elbow on a liner back up the middle by Washington’s Adam Eaton in the second inning Saturday. He picked up the ball and threw it left-handed to first base to get the final out. He then went down, writhing in pain and clutching his right arm.

The Phillies also reinstated righty Pat Neshek (forearm) from the 10-day DL. Neshek had been out since Opening Day.