Anaheim, California – Two-way star Shohei Ohtani recorded the 100th home run of his combined pro career in Japan and the United States on Wednesday, a day after throwing four scoreless innings in his second pitching start of the Los Angeles Angels' season.
Ohtani batted second as the designated hitter and hit a solo shot off Texas starter Mike Foltynewicz in the third inning to put the home team ahead 2-0 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. The Rangers would eventually rally for a 7-4 win.
"It's good I got at least one hit today," said Ohtani, who finished the day 1-for-3.
"Both first homers (in Japan and the U.S.) are memorable. They're both special," he said when asked which of his 100 home runs stands out the most.
Ohtani belted his first homer in Japan in his 92nd at-bat of his rookie season in 2013, and his first major league homer came in the first at-bat of his first home game with the Angels in 2018.
Ohtani is in the ninth season of his professional career. He played five seasons for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan before joining the Angels on a minor-league contract in 2018, with his transfer regulated by MLB's collective-bargaining agreement.
His third-inning solo shot was his 52nd homer with the Angels and fifth of the season.
The Angels led 3-1 after seven innings, but Mike Mayers (1-1) gave up a go-ahead, three-run homer to Adolis Garcia in the top of the eighth that turned the Angels' two-run lead into a one-run deficit. The next batter, Nate Lowe, also went deep off Mayers.
In other action, Minnesota Twins pitcher Kenta Maeda tied a career worst at Oakland Coliseum, giving up seven runs and eight hits in three innings — his shortest outing of the season — as the Oakland Athletics' win streak reached 11 with a wild victory over the visiting Minnesota Twins in extra innings.
The 10-inning thriller, which lasted over four hours, featured seven lead changes and seven homers and resulted in a 13-12 final score, ended on a walk-off two-run error.
Maeda surrendered three runs in the bottom of the second to allow Oakland to build a 3-1 lead. His struggles continued in the third, when he allowed a pair of two-run homers to Matt Olson and Seth Brown and was chased from the game with the Athletics holding a 7-4 lead.
The Japanese right-hander was also charged with a run-scoring wild pitch and a hit batsman.
"I threw too many off-speed pitches down the middle and hitters took advantage of that," said Maeda, the 2020 American League Cy Young Award runner-up.
"I've had some disappointing pitching performances recently, so I hope I can shift gears and bounce back strong in my next start."
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.