It seems like every day brings another milestone for Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani. A day after outdueling fellow All-Star Nathan Eovaldi on the mound against the Red Sox, Wednesday saw Ohtani make history in the batter's box.
Ohtani slugged his 32nd home run of the season in the fifth inning, setting a new record as the most for a Japanese-born player in MLB history. He passes Hideki Matsui, who homered 31 times in 2004, which was his second big league season.
Ohtani reached that mark in his 81st game (as a hitter) of the year, while Matsui played in all 162 games in 2004. Matsui released a statement congratulating Ohtani on his accomplishment, calling him a true "long-ball hitter."
Ohtani's remarkable season has continued with a strong series against the Red Sox. He pitched seven innings while allowing just two runs on five hits with four strikeouts on Tuesday, also going 1-for-4 with an RBI double at the plate in a 5-3 win. His home run on Wednesday broke a 2-2 tie, and was his second hit of the game.
Ohtani entered Wednesday leading the Majors in home runs, extra-base hits and slugging percentage, while also tying for the American League lead in triples. He also ranks ninth among all pitchers with at least 60 innings in strikeouts per nine innings (11.69), and is 4-1 with a 3.49 ERA in 13 starts.
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