In a year in which he's redefining what a baseball player is able to do, Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani did something on Wednesday night that even he had not yet accomplished.
Facing the Tigers in Detroit, Ohtani blasted his 40th home run of the season and fired eight one-run innings to pick up the win, making it the first time he's ever homered and been the winning pitcher in the same game.
The Angels defeated Detroit, 3-1. Ohtani pitched eight innings on the mound—the longest start of his career—on just 90 pitches. He allowed one run on six hits with no walks and eight strikeouts.
The home run increased his lead in the home run race to five. Toronto's Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has 35, while San Diego's Fernando Tatis Jr. has 34.
Ohtani put all of his talents on display in a masterful performance. He generated 15 swings-and-misses while demonstrating pinpoint control, with 69 of his 90 pitches going for strikes. Since his June 30 outing at Yankee Stadium—in which he allowed seven runs with four walks while only recording two outs—he's 5–0 in six starts with a 1.58 ERA, 37 strikeouts and just four walks in 40 innings.
His home run traveled 430 feet and had a 110.1 miles per hour exit velocity, per Statcast. Since the designated hitter was instituted in 1978, Ohtani is the fourth American League pitcher to homer and pitch eight innings, per MLB.com's Sarah Langs.
Ohtani is the fastest player in Angels history to reach 40 home runs, and this counts as just the sixth 40-home run season in franchise history. Troy Glaus set the club record with 47 home runs in 2000, and he also hit 41 in 2001. Mike Trout has two 40-homer seasons: he hit 45 in 2019 and 41 in 2015. Albert Pujols also hit 40 home runs in 2015.
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