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Ohtani hits 175th home run in Major League Baseball, tying Matsui for most by a Japan-born player

MLB: San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers
MLB: San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Shohei Ohtani hit his 175th home run in Major League Baseball, tying Hideki Matsui for the most by a Japan-born player with a solo shot during the first inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ game against the San Diego Padres on Friday night.

Ohtani drove an elevated outside fastball from Michael King 403 feet into the center-field stands with one out, closing the Dodgers to 2-1. It was his fourth homer in eight games.

On Friday afternoon, a federal judge in Los Angeles ordered Ippei Mizuhara, Ohtani’s former longtime interpreter, to undergo gambling addiction treatment in a sports betting case stemming from allegations he stole $16 million from Ohtani’s bank account to pay off debts.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said before Friday night’s game that Ohtani has handled the situation “with flying colors. He’s done a great job of just focusing on playing baseball and not letting it be a distraction for him.”

Ohtani also extended his hitting streak to eight games.

A two-time AL MVP, Ohtani signed a $700 million, 10-year contract with the Dodgers during the offseason after six seasons with the Los Angeles Angels.

Matsui played 10 seasons in the majors from 2003-12. His first seven years were with the New York Yankees followed by one season apiece with the Angels, Oakland and Tampa Bay.

Ichiro Suzuki is the only other Japanese-born player to reach the century mark in home runs with 117.