Baseball: Ohtani slugs MLB-leading 23rd homer, 150th of Angels career

Two-way star Shohei Ohtani hit his MLB-leading 23rd home run Saturday, becoming the second Japanese to log 150 homers in the big leagues after Hideki Matsui, as the Los Angeles Angels took a 10-9 walk-off loss to the Kansas City Royals.

Ohtani crushed a first-pitch changeup off Taylor Clarke in the seventh inning over the center-field wall at Kauffman Stadium, the solo shot giving the Angels an 8-2 lead. It also moved him into a tie at the top of the MLB RBI list with 56 alongside the Boston Red Sox's Rafael Devers.

Ohtani extended his hitting streak to 14 games as he went 1-for-4 with two RBIs, plating the other run in the fifth when he grounded out with runners on the corners and one out.

"I'm glad to have reached the milestone. I'll be doing my best to hit the 151st tomorrow," said Ohtani after his latest homer which put him four clear at the top of the American League with Aaron Judge of the Yankees, who hit an AL record 62 last year, in second.

Matsui, who had 175 MLB home runs mostly for the Yankees during his playing days in the United States, lauded his compatriot who is emulating him at the plate while also excelling on the mound.

"No one's surprised anymore by what Ohtani does," the 49-year-old said Saturday during a kids' baseball clinic in New York. "It was impossible during our time. He's doing something amazing that is almost unimaginable."

Kodai Senga (6-4) was tagged with a loss, meanwhile, after the right-hander allowed four runs on five hits, including two homers, over 6-2/3 innings during the New York Mets' 5-3 loss against the St. Louis Cardinals.

© Kyodo News