Ohtani reaches 32nd HR, breaks Matsui’s Japanese batting record – KVEO-TV


Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels ranks first as he hits a single in the first inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo / Mark J. Terrill)

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

Ohtani broke Matsui’s full season record before the all-star break with his solo right shot in the fifth inning against Boston on Wednesday. Matsui established the brand with the Yankees in 2004.

Matsui released a statement through the Angels immediately after Ohtani beat his mark, praising the achievement as “just a passing point for a hitter like Shohei.”

“I used to be considered a longball hitter in major tournaments, but I believe he really is a longball hitter,” Matsui said. “Plus he’s an incredible pitcher. He goes beyond 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 young children. As a baseball fan myself, I can’t wait to see what he’s capable of next.

Ohtani pitched seven innings to claim a victory over the Red Sox on Tuesday night, dropping to 4-1 in his first start from the mound since becoming the first player to be selected for the All-Star Game as a pitcher and batter.

Ohtani hadn’t scored in the Angels’ first two games against Boston, but his Eduardo Rodríguez shot gave him homers in 12 of his last 20 games, scoring 15 total homers in that span. He extended his own Angels franchise record for the homestays before an All-Star break.

The hometown was Ohtani’s 54th hit to lead the major leagues this season. He also hit a single and scored in the first inning.

His 32 home runs before the All-Stars break are the best for an AL player since Chris Davis hit 37 in 2013.

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

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