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Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani hits the longest home run at Oracle Park in almost two years


Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
May 14, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers design hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) hits a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning at Oracle Park.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Shohei Ohtani really wanted a blowout at San Francisco’s McCovey Cove, and he came oh-so-close Tuesday night.

Ohtani’s 400-foot drive for the Dodgers during a 10-2 win against the Giants landed above the brick facade in right-center for the longest home run at Oracle Park in nearly two years — since Christian Walker hit a 400-foot drive against Alex Cobb on August 15, 2022.

“You don’t see many guys hitting the ball that far to that part of the ballpark. Luckily I played with one here,” manager Dave Roberts said of home run king Barry Bonds. “That was pretty impressive. … That’s Barry territory.”

Ohtani acknowledged afterwards that he is finally sleeping better again. He’s struggled to get enough rest amid his former interpreter’s gambling scandal this spring – and he certainly seems refreshed at the moment.

“Obviously initially I didn’t sleep much because of the things that were happening, but now I’ve been able to have a pretty consistent routine and sleep well, so I think this is leading to good results,” Ohtani says. said through Will Ireton, his new interpreter.

When asked how he was able to sleep better, Ohtani added: “I think as the incidents progressed and I actually did what I could to show that I was okay, and as the incidents progressed and the investigation was ongoing and I started not being involved anymore, then I could really focus on my sleep and I could sleep better.”

Earlier in the day, former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara pleaded not guilty to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he negotiated with federal prosecutors in a sprawling sports betting case. Prosecutors say he stole nearly $17 million from Ohtani to pay off his sports gambling debts during a years-long scheme.

Ohtani’s 12th home run early in the fourth inning had an exit velocity of 110 mph, the heaviest-hit ball at Oracle this year and the seventh-heaviest ever since the Statcast era began in 2015.

“I thought it was going in the water at first,” Dodgers pitcher Gavin Stone said. “That was sick.”


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AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez
Shohei Ohtani of Los Angeles Dodgers smiles as he jogs to the dugout after his solo home run against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning of a baseball game on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in San Francisco.

The 29-year-old Ohtani, who had three hits and two RBIs, has seen many of Bonds’ home runs land in the water behind the right-field wall, and the Japanese star could have reached the bay had he pulled the ball.

“I thought I hit one today,” he said, “but I was disappointed it didn’t go over.”

He signed a 10-year, $700 million contract and will have 10 more years to keep trying.

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