Shohei Ohtani hit his major league-leading 32nd homer and broke the single-season major league record for homers by a Japanese player during the Los Angeles Angels’ 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani hit his major league-leading 32nd homer and broke the single-season major league record for homers by a Japanese player during the Los Angeles Angels’ 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday.
Fellow All-Star Jared Walsh homered twice for the Angels, who won for the sixth time in seven games and took two of three from the AL-leading Red Sox.
Ohtani broke Hideki Matsui’s record with his 433-foot shot to right off Eduardo Rodríguez (6-5), putting the Angels ahead to stay in the fifth inning. Matsui hit 31 homers for the Yankees in 2004, but the Angels’ two-way superstar surpassed the mark before the All-Star break with his 15th homer in his past 20 games.
Walsh homered right after Ohtani’s blast and added another solo shot in the seventh, giving him 22 homers in his breakthrough season as Albert Pujols’ full-time replacement at first base. Walsh drove in three runs for the Angels as they moved two games above .500 for the first time since April 21.
Xander Bogaerts had three hits and drove in a run for the Red Sox, who lost for just the third time in 13 games while finishing 3-3 on their six-game California road swing. Boston hadn’t lost back-to-back games since June 24.
After Mike Mayers escaped an eighth-inning jam with a lead, Raisel Iglesias struck out the side in the ninth for his 18th save.
Andrew Heaney (5-6) pitched six-hit ball into the sixth inning for the Angels, bouncing back from three straight rough starts with a solid effort against the AL’s best team. He walked two and struck out five while giving up three runs.
Rodríguez yielded nine hits and four runs over five inconsistent innings for Boston, striking out five.
David Fletcher singled in his first two at-bats, extending his hitting streak to a career-best 21 games and giving him a hit in seven consecutive plate appearances since Monday.
Fletcher singled on Rodríguez’s second pitch and went to third on Ohtani’s single in the first, and both Angels eventually scored.
Boston didn’t manage a hit off Heaney until Xander Bogaerts’ two-out single in the fourth, but the Red Sox tied it on four singles in the fifth. Bobby Dalbec and Alex Verdugo drove in runs after Phil Gosselin misplayed Dalbec’s catchable drive to left.
Walsh followed Ohtani’s blast with a 435-foot shot over the ficus trees beyond center field, putting the Angels up 4-2 on their fourth back-to-back homers of the season.
Boston got a run back on Christian Arroyo’s RBI single in the sixth. J.D. Martinez the led off the eighth with a triple when Luis Rengifo apparently lost his fly ball in the sun, and Bogaerts doubled him home before Mayers got three straight outs.
FLETCH PART 21
Fletcher’s hitting streak is the longest in the AL this season, and it matches the 21-game streak by Cincinnati’s Nick Castellanos for the longest in the majors in 2021.
The streak is also the longest for the Angels since Garret Anderson went 23 straight in 2008. Anderson also owns the longest hitting streak in Halos history, a 28-game run in 1998.
Fletcher’s streak of seven consecutive plate appearances with a hit ended with a groundout in the fourth.
Red Sox: RHP Tanner Houck could return to Boston’s rotation after the All-Star break to keep the starters on proper rest. Houck hasn’t pitched in the majors since early May because of a right arm flexor injury, but he is making rehab starts for Triple-A Worcester.
Angels: LF Justin Upton will be out through the All-Star break. The veteran hasn’t played since June 22 because of lower-back tightness, interrupting his strong play as the Halos’ leadoff hitter.
Red Sox: Longtime Angels starter Garrett Richards (4-5, 4.88 ERA) takes the mound Friday at Fenway Park against Philadelphia in the final series before the All-Star break.
Angels: After a day off, Alex Cobb (6-3, 4.60 ERA) takes the mound in Seattle on Friday, looking to continue his impressive 5-1 run in seven starts since returning from the injured list.
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