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Ohtani hits milestone 32nd homer as Angels edge Red Sox 5-4


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.

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Shohei Ohtani hit his major league-leading 32nd homer on Wednesday during the Los Angeles Angels’ 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox and broke the single-season major league record for homers by a Japanese player.

Fellow All-Star Jared Walsh made it home 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 off Eduardo Rodriguez (6-5), leading the Angels to stay in the fifth inning. Matsui hit 31 homers for the Yankees in 2004, but the Angels two-way superstar crossed the mark with his 15th homer in his last 20 games before the All-Star break.

Walsh took home just after Ohtani’s blast and added another single shot in the seventh, giving him 22 homers in his successful season as a full-time replacement at first base for Albert Pujols. Walsh scored three runs for the Angels and went above 500 in two games for the first time since April 21.

Xander Bogaerts had three hits and runs for the Red Sox, losing just the third time in 13 games, ending 3-3 on their six-game California road swing. Boston had not lost a back-to-back match since June 24.

When Mike Meyers escaped the jam with a lead in the eighth inning, Raissell Iglesias dismissed the team in the ninth for his 18th defense.

Andrew Heaney (5-6) bowled six hits in the sixth inning for the Angels, bouncing back from three straight rough starts with a solid effort against the AL’s best team. He scored two runs and scored five runs giving away three runs.

Rodriguez made nine hits and four runs in five inconsistent innings, scoring five runs for Boston.

David Fletcher singled out his first two at-bats, extending his hitting streak to a career-best 21 games and hitting him in seven consecutive plate appearances since Monday.

Fletcher scored on Rodriguez’s second pitch and went third in Ohtani’s single first, and both Angels eventually scored.

Boston did not manage to hit Heaney until Xander Bogarts’ two-out single in the fourth, but the Red Sox tied it on four singles in the fifth. Bobby Dalbeck and Alex Verdugo scored after Phil Gosselin mishandled Dalbeck’s catchable drive to the left.

Walsh chased down Ohtani’s blast, shooting a 435-foot shot at ficus trees just beyond center field, to put the Angels 4-2 on their fourth back-to-back homers of the season.

Boston got a run back in the sixth on an RBI single from Christian Arroyo. J.D. Martinez led with a triple to eighth when Luis Rengifo apparently lost his fly ball in the sun, and Bogarts doubled it at home before Meyers got three straight outs.

Fletch Part 21

Fletcher’s hitting streak is the longest in 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 the longest for the Angels since Garrett Anderson scored 23 straight in 2008. Anderson also has the longest hitting streak in Halos history, a 28-game run in 1998.

Fletcher’s streak of seven consecutive plate performances with one hit ended with a groundout in the fourth.

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Red Sox: RHP Tanner Hawke may return to Boston’s rotation after the All-Star break to give starters a proper rest. Hawke hasn’t attended the majors since early May due to a right-arm flexor injury, but he is starting rehab for Triple-A Worcester.

Angels: LF Justin Upton will be out through the All-Star break. The veteran has not played since June 22 due to a lower back stiffness, which hampered his strong play as Halos’ leadoff hitter.

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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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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

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