Shohei Ohtani took down 'Godzilla's' homer record. He's 'coming after' Dave Roberts' Dodgers mark

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Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani holds the Major League Baseball record for the most home runs hit by a Japanese-born player.

He does not, however, hold that record on his own team.

That one still belongs to manager Dave Roberts — at least for the time being.

During the third inning of the Dodgers’ 10-0 win over the New York Mets on Sunday, Ohtani blasted a shot off pitcher Adrian Houser over the right-field fence for a two-run home run.

It was the 176th home run of Ohtani’s MLB career and represented a milestone for the player born in Oshu, Iwate, Japan. It put him on top of the list of home run leaders among players born in Japan, ahead of Hideki Matsui, who had the nickname “Godzilla” and hit 175 homers during a 10-year career spent mostly with the New York Yankees and included stints with the Angels, Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays.

“Honestly, I’m just happy and relieved,” Ohtani said after the game through translator Will Ireton. “It took a while to get to this point, since my last home run.”

Ohtani’s previous home run came on April 12, off pitcher Michael King during the first inning of the Dodgers’ 8-7 loss to the San Diego Padres.

During Sunday’s game, Ohtani was seen in the dugout laughing with Roberts, an exchange that ended with the manager giving the superstar a playful shove. Viewers may have learned why during the postgame interviews.

Ohtani has never played in the MLB playoffs, having spent the first six years of his career with the Angels before signing with the Dodgers this past offseason. A reporter asked Ohtani if his next goal was to match the postseason success of Matsui, who was named the MVP of the 2009 World Series as a member of the Yankees.

“Yeah,” Ohtani said through Ireton, “but before that I want to break my manager’s record.”

Roberts, who was born in Naha, Okinawa, Japan, to a Japanese mother and American father, hit seven home runs during his two-plus seasons as a Dodgers player, from 2002-04. That is the most home runs hit by a Dodgers player who was born in Japan, the team confirmed to The Times on Monday.

But Ohtani is quickly catching up, with five home runs in a little more than a month in Dodger Blue.

“He said he’s coming after me next,” Roberts told reporters after the game.

Roberts added: “Hideki Matsui was a great ballplayer, great home run hitter, a world champion, and I know that Shohei admired him … so for him to eclipse that mark, it’s a big deal. And I know that whatever kind of mark that’s in front of Shohei, he’s trying to take them all down.”

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