ANAHEIM, Calif. – Shohei ohtani He hit his 32nd home run of the season to establish himself as the leader of the Major Leagues (MLB) and with it, he broke the record for the most home runs in a season for a Japanese player in the Big Top that belonged to Hideki Matsui.
With his score, which helped the Los Angeles Angels defeat the Boston Red Sox 5-4, Ohtani surpassed the all-time mark that Matsui set in the 2004 season, before the All-Star break of the current season.
Ohtani hit his solo home run to right field in the fifth inning to put the Angels up 3-2.
Matsui released a statement through the Angels immediately after Ohtani broke the mark in which he praised the feat as “just one point a hitter like Shohei was going to beat.”
“I was once considered a home runner in the majors, but I think (Shohei) really is a long-range hitter. In addition, he is an amazing pitcher ”, highlighted Matsui. “He exceeds what is considered conventional for a major league player and there is no one else like him. I hope he continues his success this season as he carries the hopes and dreams of many fans and children. As a baseball fan, I can’t wait to see what he can do next. “
Ohtani pitched seven innings to clinch victory Tuesday night and improve to 4-1 in his first start since becoming the first All-Star player as a pitcher and batter.
Ohtani hadn’t homered in the Angels’ first two games against the Red Sox, but his home run on a shot Eduardo Rodriguez made him reach 12 games in the last 20, with 15 in total in that period. He also extended his own Angels home run record before the All-Star break.
Ohtani’s 32nd homer is also the 54th extra baseman for the Japanese, who is also the leader in that category this season. He also hit a hit and scored in the first inning of Wednesday’s win over Boston.
Ohtano’s 32 home runs before the All-Star Game are the highest total for an American League player since Chris davis hit 37 in 2013.
Ohtani will participate in the Home Run Derby next week, the day before the All-Star Game at Coors Field in Denver.