Shohei Ohtani reaches hometown milestone, Angels ahead of Red Sox 5-4
ANAHEIM, Calif .– Shohei Ohtani fouled his ankle 2-2 in the fifth inning. He fouled the next throw from his leg just above his knee.
The Los Angeles Angels slugger shook off the pain, returned and immediately hit a 433-foot homerun that gave him a new place in Japanese baseball history.
“That’s how tough he is,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “He stayed in there, recovered well and hit a home run.”
Ohtani hit his 32nd homer in the major leagues and broke the major league record in a single season for a Japanese player’s homerun in the Angels’ 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday.
Fellow star Jared Walsh scored twice for the Angels, who won for the sixth time in seven games and won two of three games for the AL-leading Red Sox on another landmark day for the superstar. two-way street from Los Angeles.
A day after Ohtani pitched seven innings to beat Boston, he broke Hideki Matsui’s record with his solo shot just ahead of Eduardo Rodríguez (6-5), giving the Angels the advantage to stay in the fifth inning.
Matsui hit 31 home runs for the Yankees in 2004, but Ohtani topped the mark in just 81 games before the all-star break with his 15th home run in his last 20 games.
“I’ve said it before, but he’s someone I watched as a kid, so it’s a huge honor to do something he did,” Ohtani said by the intermediary of his translator.
Matsui, who played for the Angels in 2010, returned love.
In a statement released by the team, Matsui said that Ohtani “goes beyond what is considered conventional for a major league player, and that there is no one else like him. I hope that” he will continue 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 is capable of doing next.
Walsh hit a homer just after Ohtani’s explosion and added another solo shot in the seventh, giving him 22 homers in his decisive season as Albert Pujols’ full-time substitute at first base. Walsh scored three points for the Angels (44-42) as they moved two games over .500 for the first time since April 21.
Xander Bogaerts had three hits and produced one run for the Red Sox, who lost only for the third time in 13 games while finishing 3-3 on their six-game swing in California. Boston hadn’t lost a back-to-back game since June 24.
“We’ve had our chances over the past two days,” said Boston manager Alex Cora. “We had traffic everywhere. We couldn’t get the big bang. It happens. We were so good offensively before this trip. We just haven’t had this big success in the last few days.
After Mike Mayers escaped an eighth inning jam with a lead, Raisel Iglesias pulled the side in the ninth for his 18th save.
Andrew Heaney (5-6) threw six hits in the sixth inning for the Angels, rebounding from three straight brutal starts with a solid effort against the AL’s top team. He walked two and struck out five strikes while allowing three runs.
Rodríguez produced nine hits and four runs in five inconsistent innings for Boston, striking out five. The Angels made little solid contact against him until their back-to-back homers.
“It’s a little tough when you know your throws are working pretty well and they start hitting balls like that, but these things happen,” Rodríguez said. “I have to get out of this. Blooper, homer, whatever, that’s something you have to take out of the game. ”
The Red Sox were upset when the video review failed to conclude that José Iglesias had missed second base while making a late double play in the sixth.
Boston also took advantage of two game errors by the Angels outfielder during the rally.
Phil Gosselin misinterpreted Bobby Dalbec’s catch to the left in the fifth, allowing a run. JD Martinez then led the eighth with a triple when Luis Rengifo apparently lost his ball in the sun, and Bogaerts passed him at home before Mayers got three straight strikeouts.
ARROW PART 21
David Fletcher scored a single in his first two at-bat, extending his hitting streak to 21 games, his career-best record, and giving him a hit in seven straight appearances at home since Monday.
Fletcher’s hitting streak is AL’s longest this season, and it matches Cincinnati’s Nick Castellanos’ 21-game streak for the longest in the majors in 2021. The streak is also the longest for the Angels since Garret Anderson had 23 straight games in 2008.
Red Sox: RHP Tanner Houck could return to Boston’s rotation after the all-star break to keep starters resting. Houck hasn’t played in majors since early May due to a right arm flexor injury, but he’s making a rehab debut for Triple-A Worcester.
Angels: LF Justin Upton will be out during the All-Star break. The veteran hasn’t played since June 22 due to low back strain.
Red Sox: Longtime Angels starter Garrett Richards (4-5, 4.88 ERA) takes the mound Friday at Fenway Park against Philadelphia.
Angels: Alex Cobb (6-3, 4.60 ERA) takes the mound in Seattle on Friday, looking to continue his impressive 5-1 streak in seven starts since returning from the injured list.