Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani first in MLB history to notch 30 home runs, 10 pitching wins in same season

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani hit the biggest hit of the night in a matchup between the top two contenders for the American League MVP award.

The reigning AL MVP became the first player in major league history to hit 30 home runs and record 10 pitching wins in the Los Angeles Angels’ 3-2 win over the New York Yankees on Wednesday.

“In a game like this, with these fans and the stadium look, one of the stars is going to be up there and Shohei got a good one,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said.

Ohtani’s 3-pointer centered on a 97.9-mph fastball by Gerrit Cole (10-7) in the sixth inning put the Angels in the lead after two hits in the first five innings. It was his third deep dive in the past four games.

In a three-game series against Yankees and AL MVP favorite Aaron Judge, the Japanese two-way talent went 5-for-12 with two homers and five RBIs.

“It definitely motivates me to do better. I mean trying to use hardware,” Ohtani said through Ippei Mizuhara, an interpreter who faced Judge. “It’s something I think about most of the time, but I try to take it piece by piece and work it out.”

Judge missed two at-bats but drew two walks after going 4-for-7 with 2 homers and 4 RBIs in the first two games.

Ohtani almost got two runs in the first inning before center fielder Aaron Hicks jumped to the wall to catch it. Ohtani got all of Cole’s pitches to clear for a 2-0 run after David Fletcher’s infield single in the sixth inning and Mike Trout on the field after Yankees shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa started the ball base.

“Probably the worst fastball of the night. Bad place,” said Kerr, who allowed seven innings (two) and six hits with four strikeouts. “I tried to leave. I didn’t want to give in there either. Just a bad miss.”

Ohtani was also the first Japanese-born player to hit at least 30 home runs in consecutive seasons, and he threw his fist at first base.

“I just missed it on the first hit. I want my next chance,” Ohtani said. “Luckily Trout went on to make that mistake and I’m glad I got through it.”

The Yankees kept three hits, missed after the fifth, but still had a chance in the ninth. Jimmy Herget led Judges and Giancarlo Stanton in the ninth, but struck out Josh Donaldson and Gleyber Torres before Oswaldo Cabrera stopped shortstop Andrew Velazquez to end the game. Herget made his fifth save for the Angels, who have won five of their last six.

Patrick Sandoval (5-9) has hit seven innings and allowed two runs in seven innings in his last three innings for his second win.

Kerr, who grew up in nearby Newport Beach, made six career starts at Angel Stadium, where his boyhood team had a seven-game winning streak with steals and its first loss.

“Tough one. It was a pitching matchup and one mistake cost us,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

The Yankees played just one of the first four innings before making a breakthrough in the fifth. Donaldson led with a double on the left field line, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored when Glaber Torres doubled in the right field gap.

Hicks’ high-altitude sacrifice flew to left field and Torres made it 2-0.


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