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Ohtani hits another leadoff homer for Dodgers, extending RBI streak to a franchise record 10 games

CHICAGO – Dodgers slugger Shohei Ohtani hit a leadoff homer against the Chicago White Sox for the second straight night on Wednesday, extending his RBI streak to a franchise record 10 consecutive games.

Ohtani connected on a full-count fastball from Erick Fedde, sending the ball floating over the fence to right-center for his NL-high 25th homer. The 130 meter ride had an exit speed of 180 km/h.

It was Ohtani’s third leadoff home run this season and No. 9 of his career.

Ohtani also walked in the third and scored from first base on Freddie Freeman’s double to right. He fouled third base for the first of the fifth.

Ohtani is in his first season with the Dodgers after agreeing to a 10-year, $700 million contract in December. Entering Wednesday’s action, the two-time AL MVP was hitting .306 (26 for 85) with 10 home runs and 22 RBIs in 22 games this month.

Ohtani, who turns 30 on July 5, had two hits and two RBIs in the Dodgers’ 4-3 win over the White Sox on Tuesday night. He went deep in the first inning against Chris Flexen, then walked and scored in the third. He also hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the fourth.

Ohtani moved to the top spot after Mookie Betts was sidelined with a broken left hand. He has driven in 17 runs during his RBI streak.

Ohtani could be one of the top contenders in the All-Star Home Run Derby on July 15 at Globe Life Field in Texas. He last competed at the major event in 2021 in Denver, losing to Juan Soto in a memorable first-round showdown.

But Ohtani underwent major surgery on his elbow in September and any decision to participate in the Derby would likely involve discussions with the Dodgers.

“One side of it, him being in the Home Run Derby, is obviously great for baseball,” manager Dave Roberts said. “The other side of it, on the Dodgers manager side, you’re trying to be more careful and appreciate the fact that there’s a lot more swings, a higher intensity, you know, going through the rehab process with his elbow. .

“But for me personally, it’s just defaulting to the player and supporting Shohei in whatever he wants.”

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb