Shohei Ohtani

Rafu Staff and Wire Reports 

Shohei Ohtani has passed Hideki Matsui for home runs by a Japanese player in a single season, blasting a fifth-inning shot in Wednesday’s 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox in Anaheim.

The Angels star’s 32 home runs leads the major leagues. He has hit 15 in his last 20 games.

Matsui hit 31 homers for the Yankees over the entire 2004 season, but Ohtani has passed the mark ahead of the All-Star break.

The two-way star continues to make his mark on baseball all-time stats. Next week, he will be the first player in the history of the All-Star Game to play as both a pitcher and a position player.

Ohtani is also scheduled to compete in the Home Run Derby a day earlier.

On Tuesday, Ohtani took the mound and threw seven solid innings and gave himself run support with an RBI double as the Angels downed the Red Sox, 5-3.

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Keston Hiura was 0-for-2 in the first game of a doubleheader on Wednesday, as the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers fell to the Mets in New York, 4-3.

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The St. Louis Cardinals recalled outfielder Lars Nootbaar from AAA Memphis on Wednesday, after the team placed Carlos Martinez on the 10-day injured list.

Nootbaar made his MLB debut on June 22, but was optioned to Memphis on July 1 after batting .160 in 25 at-bats.

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