Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani continues to set records as he approaches a massive payday.
Ohtani surpassed Babe Ruth’s career pitching strikeout total Tuesday and now owns the record for the most pitching strikeouts by a player who also has hit at least 100 home runs, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Playing in his sixth Major League season, Ohtani has launched 134 home runs while striking out 507 hitters.
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Ruth had 501 strikeouts as a pitcher while hitting 714 home runs.
Despite Ohtani breaking another record, the Angels fell to the Houston Astros Tuesday night, sending Ohtani to his first loss of the season.
The two-way star allowed three earned runs on six hits in seven innings as the Astros defeated the Angels 3-1.
Houston starting pitcher Framber Valdez bested Ohtani, allowing just one earned run on three hits in eight innings.
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“(Valdez) is a great pitcher,” Ohtani said through his interpreter. “I knew it was going to be a low-scoring game, and I felt like I had some at-bats that could help us score some runs, but obviously I failed on that. But he’s a good pitcher.”
All three runs allowed by Ohtani came in the fifth inning, including a two-run home run from Houston catcher Martín Maldonado.
“He’s just really good,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said of Ohtani “But he’s human, and I think he made one bad pitch to a guy that seems to do a lot of damage against us.”
Ohtani is hitting .294 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs at the plate while sporting a 2.74 ERA on the mound.
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The Japanese star is preparing to become a free agent after the season and is expected to receive the most lucrative contract in baseball history.
The Associated Press contributed to this report