OAKLAND, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani withstood another injury scare and pitched six scoreless innings to go with his team-leading 25th home run, reaching yet another monumental milestone as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 5-1 on Tuesday night.
The two-way Japanese star joined Babe Ruth (1918) as the only players in major league history to have at least 10 home runs and 10 wins in the same season. According to the Angels, two players from the Negro Leagues also did it: Bullet Rogan of the 1922 Kansas City Monarchs and Ed Rile of the 1927 Detroit Stars.
Ohtani singled and scored on Taylor Ward’s three-run homer in the fifth then connected for a towering drive off Sam Selman leading off the seventh as a throng of red-clan fans sitting behind the Angels dugout roared.
The homer gave Ohtani 118 for his career, passing Ichiro Suzuki for the second most by a Japanese-born player in MLB history. Only Hideki Matsui, with 175, has more.
On the mound, Ohtani (10-7) was mostly crisp. He had five strikeouts, allowed four hits and retired seven of his final eight batters. He has now recorded 25 home runs and 100 pitching strikeouts for the second straight year — a feat no other player has accomplished in a season in MLB history.
The reigning American League MVP almost didn’t make it out of the third.
Two days after getting spiked on the top of his left foot following a collision with Seattle Mariners pitcher Marco Gonzales near the on-deck circle, Ohtani was hit near the same area by an 87 mph line drive from Ramon Laureano.
After making the play for the final out of the inning, Ohtani bent at the waist in obvious discomfort then limped slowly off the field. He returned to the field a few moments later to test his leg and stayed in the game.
ESPN Stats & Information and The Associated Press contributed to this report.