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Sho shakes off injury, makes Halos history

Rhett Bollinger

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ANAHEIM — Two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani reached yet another incredible milestone on Saturday night, as he became the first Angels player to ever hit at least 40 homers and steal 20 bases in a season.

Ohtani reached the mark with his 20th stolen base of 2021, coming in the fifth inning of a 10-2 win over the Padres at Angel Stadium. Ohtani already had reached the 40-homer mark — he leads the Majors with 41 blasts this year. And it doesn’t include the fact that he’s also 8-1 with a 3.00 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 105 innings as a pitcher this season.

Ohtani became the first American League player with a 40/20 season since Curtis Granderson in 2011, and he reached the mark before September. The only other American Leaguers to reach 40 homers and 20 stolen bases prior to September were Alex Rodriguez in 2007 and Ken Griffey Jr. in 1999.

The last Major Leaguers with a 40/20 season were Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr. and Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich in 2019.

Ohtani drew a one-out walk against reliever Austin Adams and then stole second on a 1-0 fastball above the zone with Phil Gosselin at the plate.

Ohtani, though, received a scare in the first inning, when he was hit on his right hand by a 93 mph fastball from lefty Ryan Weathers. Ohtani was ruled to have made a swing on the pitch and was called out on strikes. He was visited by manager Joe Maddon and assistant trainer Brian Reinker after being hit on his throwing hand but remained in the game.

Ohtani’s next start on the mound is scheduled for Tuesday against the Yankees at Angel Stadium. But it’s unclear whether being struck by the pitch will alter the club’s plans.

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