Ohtani hit his 32nd home run of the season off Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez in the fifth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-4 victory. His league-leading 32nd dinger set a record for most home runs in a single MLB season by a Japanese player and drew a response from another great, Hideki Matsui, whose record he broke.
“Thirty-two home runs in a season is just a passing point for a hitter like Shohei,” Matsui said in a statement. “I was once considered a long ball hitter in the Majors, but I believe that he truly is a long ball hitter. Furthermore, he is an amazing pitcher. He exceeds what is considered conventional for a Major League player and there is no one else like him. I hope he continues his success this season as he carries the hopes and dreams of many fans and young children.
“As a baseball fan myself, I can’t wait to see what he is able to do next.”
Ohtani said it was a “huge honor to do something he’s done.”
Matsui hit 31 home runs with the New York Yankees in 2004, but Ohtani surpassed the mark in 81 games before the All-Star break.
Ohtani has clobbered 15 home runs in his last 20 games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.