MLB

Ohtani becomes fastest Angels player to hit 25 home runs in a season

MLB sensation Shohei Ohtani chalked up his 25th home run of the season as he became the fastest Los Angeles Angels to the milestone.

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Ohtani becomes fastest Angels player to 25 home runs in a season

Shohei Ohtani's superb MLB season continued as he hit his 25th home run of the campaign for Los Angeles Angels to follow in the footsteps of all-time great Babe Ruth.

Ohtani led from the front in a 6-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday with a double, triple, a home run and three RBIs as the Angels won the series finale at Tropicana Field.

The 26-year-old from Japan improved his season tally to 25 homers - becoming the fastest Angels hitter ever to reach the milestone in a season after 77 games.

He also has 11 stolen bases for the Angels in 2021, and recorded 82 strikeouts as a pitcher.

According to Stats Perform, only two players in American League (AL) history have had 25-plus home runs, 10-plus stolen bases and 75-pitching strikeouts in their careers – Hall of Famer Babe Ruth and Ohtani (reached all three already this season).

It left his opponents and team-mates alike in awe of Ohtani's all-round prowess.

"He's special,” said Rays catcher Mike Zunino told a media conference.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Tampa Bay RaysJun 27, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) rounds second after hitting a home run in the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

"There's no hiding his ability, his talent. Being able to see him three days in a row, hitting-wise is impressive, then knowing every fifth or sixth day he's on the mound throwing 100 [mph]. An unbelievable talent."

Angels skipper Joe Maddon added: "Beyond everything you're seeing, this guy really likes to compete.

"He really likes the moment. There's all this ubiquitous talent that he's got, but he loves to compete, and he plays the game."

The Angels are next in action against the New York Yankees on Tuesday.