Baseball: Ohtani hits 30 homers for 2nd straight season

The Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani became the first Japan-born MLB player to have back-to-back 30-homer seasons as he hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the finale of a three-game series against the New York Yankees on Wednesday.

Ohtani crushed a 427-foot homer to center off Yankees starter Gerrit Cole in the bottom of the sixth inning at Angel Stadium. His 30th homer turned a two-run deficit into a 3-2 lead.

The reigning American League MVP hit 46 homers last season, surpassing Hideki Matsui's 2004 record for long balls in a single season by a Japanese player.

Matsui, who spent seven of his 10 MLB seasons with the Yankees, holds the record for most home runs by a Japanese player in MLB at 175, a figure Ohtani trails by just 52.

© Kyodo News