Ohtani reaches HR 32, surpassing Matsui’s Japanese Sluggers record | Sports news


By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Shohei Ohtani has beaten his MLB leading 32nd homer for the Los Angeles Angels, breaking Hideki Matsui’s record for homer in a major league season by a Japanese player.

Ohtani beat Matsui’s all-season record before the All-Star break with his solo shot to the right in the fifth inning against Boston on Wednesday. Matsui made a mark with the Yankees in 2004.

Matsui made a statement through the Angels immediately after Ohtani broke his mark, hailing the performance as “just a point of passage for a batsman like Shohei.

“I was once considered a long ball hitter in the majors, but I think he really is a long ball hitter,” said Matsui. “He’s also a great pitcher. He beats what is considered conventional for a major league player and there is no one like him. I hope he continues his success this season as he has the hopes and dreams of many fans and young people. ” As a baseball fan myself, I can’t wait to see what he can do next. “

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Ohtani hit seven innings to claim a victory over the Red Sox on Tuesday night and improved to 4-1 in his first hill start since becoming the first player to be both a pitcher and a hitter for the All-Star Game was selected.

Ohtani hadn’t homered in the Angels’ first two games against Boston, but his Eduardo Rodríguez shot gave him homer in 12 of his last 20 games, hitting a total of 15 homers in that time. He extended his own Angels franchise record for Homer before an All-Star hiatus.

The homer was Ohtani’s 54th extra base hit in the major league that season. He also single and scored in the first inning.

His 32 pre-All-Star hiatus homers are the most by an AL player since Chris Davis reached 37 in 2013.

Ohtani will be competing in the Home Run Derby ahead of the All-Star Game in Denver next week.

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