The Los Angeles Dodgers have confirmed the signing of Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani on a mammoth 10-year contract.

The reigning American League MVP’s agent Nez Balelo revealed the record-breaking 700million dollar (£558m) deal on Saturday before Ohtani posted on his Instagram account about his short move from the Los Angeles Angels.

“We congratulate him on his historic contract with our storied franchise,” said Mark Walter, chairman of the Dodgers and their owners Guggenheim Baseball, in a statement confirming the move on Monday.

“Shohei is a once-in-a-generation talent and one of the most exciting professional athletes in the world.”

He continued: “Our players, staff, management and ownership look forward to working together with Shohei to help the Dodgers continue to add, improve and strive for excellence on the field.

“Together with Shohei, we will work to help grown the number and breadth of people around the world who enjoy the excitement of Major League Baseball.”

Ohtani, 29, thanked Dodgers fans for welcoming him to the team.

“I can say, 100 %, that you, the Dodger organisation and I share the same goal – to bring World Series parades to the streets of Los Angeles.”

Reports in US media say Ohtani will receive around two million dollars (£1.6m) a year throughout his contract with the balance in instalments of 68m dollars a year (£54.1m) for the following 10 years to provide the club with greater flexibility in payroll restrictions.

Former MVPs Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman have similar deferred deals with the Dodgers.

Ohtani is unusual in that he plays as a pitcher and a hitter, becoming regarded as one of the best in the game on both sides of the ball since his Angels debut in 2018.

He won his second American League MVP award in 2023, despite an elbow injury which curtailed his season and will prevent him from pitching in 2024.

Pitcher Joe Kelly, who re-signed with the Dodgers on Monday, is switching to number 99 to allow Ohtani to retain his 17 jersey.

The previous record contract in MLB was the 426.5m (£340m) the Angels paid to outfielder Mike Trout as part of a 12-year deal in 2019.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ 10-year 450m (£359m) extension, agreed in September, was the previous highest in US sports.

Shohei Ohtani has confirmed he is to join the Los Angeles Dodgers on a  record-breaking contract after ending his six-year spell with the LA Angels.

The 29-year-old Japanese free agent, whose agent said he has agreed a 700million dollar (£558m) 10-year deal which would make him the highest earner in Major League Baseball (MLB) history, ended fevered speculation over his destination in a social media post on Saturday night.

The extent of the deal was revealed in a statement from his agent Nez Balelo, which described it as a “unique, historic contract for a unique, historic player”.

While the Dodgers have not made an official statement, their website carried headlines saying it was “Sho Time” and describing the deal as a “700m stunner”. MLB posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that “Hollywood just added another star”.

Ohtani is unusual in that he plays as a pitcher and a hitter, becoming regarded as one of the best in the game on both sides of the ball since his Angels debut in 2018.

He won his second American League MVP award in 2023, despite an elbow injury which curtailed his season and will prevent him from pitching in 2024.

Ohtani wrote on his official Instagram account: “To all the fans and everyone involved in the baseball world, I apologize for taking so long to come to a decision. I have decided to choose the Dodgers as my next team.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Shohei Ohtani | 大谷翔平 (@shoheiohtani)

“First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone involved with the Angels organization and the fans who have supported me over the past six years, as well as to everyone involved with each team that was part of this negotiation process.

 

“Especially to the Angels fans who supported me through all the ups and downs, your guys’ support and cheer meant the world to me. The six years I spent with the Angels will remain etched in my heart forever.

“And to all Dodgers fans, I pledge to always do what’s best for the team and always continue to give it my all to be the best version of myself.

“Until the last day of my playing career, I want to continue to strive forward not only for the Dodgers, but for the baseball world.”

The previous record contract in MLB was the 426.5m (£340m) the Angels paid to outfielder Mike Trout as part of a 12-year deal in 2019.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ 10-year 450m (£359m) extension, agreed in September, was the previous highest in US sports.

Shohei Ohtani has confirmed he is to join the Los Angeles Dodgers on what is reportedly a record-breaking contract after ending his six-year spell with the LA Angels.

The 29-year-old Japanese free agent, who is said to have agreed a 700million US dollars (£558m) 10-year deal which would make him the highest earner in major league baseball history, ended fevered speculation over his destination in a social media post on Saturday night.

Ohtani, the reigning American League Most Valuable Player, wrote on his official Instagram account: “To all the fans and everyone involved in the baseball world, I apologize for taking so long to come to a decision. I have decided to choose the Dodgers as my next team.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Shohei Ohtani | 大谷翔平 (@shoheiohtani)

“First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone involved with the Angels organization and the fans who have supported me over the past six years, as well as to everyone involved with each team that was part of this negotiation process.

 

“Especially to the Angels fans who supported me through all the ups and downs, your guys’ support and cheer meant the world to me. The six years I spent with the Angels will remain etched in my heart forever.

“And to all Dodgers fans, I pledge to always do what’s best for the team and always continue to give it my all to be the best version of myself.

“Until the last day of my playing career, I want to continue to strive forward not only for the Dodgers, but for the baseball world.”

Free agent Shohei Ohtani is signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the two-way star announced Saturday on Instagram.

His contract will be worth $700million over 10 seasons, multiple media outlets reported.

Ohtani’s post was simply a large image of the Dodgers’ logo with a caption posted in English.

“To all the fans and everyone involved in the baseball world, I apologize for taking so long to come to a decision,” the caption began. “I have decided to choose the Dodgers as my next team.”

The announcement came a day after erroneous reports that Ohtani flew to Toronto on Friday. The private jet that was incorrectly reported to have Ohtani onboard actually belonged to “Shark Tank” star Robert Herjavec.

After spending six seasons in Anaheim with the Los Angeles Angels, Ohtani will now call Dodger Stadium home after signing the most lucrative contract in North American sports history.

Patrick Mahomes, of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, previously held the record with a contract totalling $450million, but parts of that deal were not guaranteed.

New York Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo remains optimistic free agent Shohei Ohtani, widely regarded as the world’s best baseball player, could be part of his team set to play in London next summer.

Generational Japanese two-way talent Ohtani was two weeks ago named American League MVP for the second time in three years and draws frequent comparisons to Babe Ruth, still probably the most recognisable baseball name in Britain and beyond despite the former Boston Red Sox and New York Yankee slugger having been dead for 75 years.

Ohtani, reportedly within days of deciding on his next destination and poised to fetch an MLB-record free-agent fee, is historically peerless in his dual-role as a starting pitcher and batter, so much so that a new MLB rule introduced in 2022 – effectively designed to address his singular abilities – is commonly referred to as ‘the Ohtani rule’.

Nimmo, whose Mets are set to play the Philadelphia Phillies at the London Stadium next June, said: “(Ohtani) really is everything that everyone says he is. He’s unbelievable. He hits the ball harder than everyone, he throws the ball harder than everyone, he runs faster than everyone.

“He really is the special talent that everyone has hyped him up to be. He’s one of those special, once-in-a-generation players.

“I know that our front office and our owner and our president were very excited about the prospect of getting him. I know we’re going to be in on (him), I just don’t know where it is going to lead to.”

In baseball, unlike cricket, players are pitchers or combine a fielding position and batting, save for the “designated hitter” (DH), a batting-only position which typically replaces pitchers in the order. But under ‘the Ohtani rule’, he can still serve as a DH even after being pulled as a pitcher.

The DH has featured since 1973 in the American League and National League in 2022, but, even before its universal adoption, no pitchers came anywhere close to Ohtani’s prowess at the plate. He has won MLB’s best DH award for three consecutive seasons.

In 2023, he hit the fourth most home runs in MLB, all while striking out 167 batters and finishing with a 3.14 earned run average.

While the Mets have been linked to Ohtani, who is rumoured to be considering deals worth between USD 500m-600m (£396,205,000-£475,446,000), the latest reports suggest they may be out of the picture, with the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays, Atlanta Braves and former club the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim among those considered front-runners for his services.

Whoever ultimately signs Ohtani will likely have to wait a full season until he is fit enough to pitch following surgery to his elbow in September, though he should be available to hit come opening day 2024.

Next summer’s London Series marks the third time MLB has made the trip to Britain, in an ongoing attempt to grow the global reach of a game that has variously been accused of being too American to find a footing in the UK, too similar to cricket to take off, and conversely too confusing for the uninitiated to understand.

Nimmo, however, will happily evangelise for the game’s global potential, and agrees that fact that it is a Japanese talent quickly becoming MLB’s most recognisable face – even cracking highlight reels in the United Kingdom – is important as the sport tries to conquer new territory.

He added: “One of the areas where we’ve struggled in MLB is making the players world recognised, and now Shohei has that star quality that can bridge that gap. He’s an integral piece to us growing the game worldwide.

“We need to market him. We need to get him out there. I think a great opening and a great door is to be like, check out this guy.

“He’s not from the States, he’s larger than life, he’s doing something that hasn’t been done before, since one of the great baseball legends like Babe Ruth. Those guys are mythical.”

:: New York Mets will play Philadelphia Phillies in the MLB World Tour: London Series 2024 on June 8–9 at London Stadium

Shohei Ohtani and Ronald Acuña Jr. have consistently broken the mold in their young careers, and the unique accomplishments seemingly keep on coming.

Ohtani was announced as the American League’s Most Valuable Player of 2023, becoming the first player to win the award twice by unanimous vote.

Acuña was a unanimous selection as NL MVP after completing MLB’s first ever 40-homer, 70-steal season.

Never before have both MVP votes in the same year been unanimous.

A two-way star unprecedented in the modern game, Ohtani led the AL with 44 home runs while hitting .304 and accumulating 96 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. From the mound, he went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA and 167 strikeouts in 132 innings pitched. 

The Los Angeles Angels star received all 30 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Rangers shortstop Corey Seager finished second with 24 second-place votes, while Texas teammate Marcus Semien finished third with five second-place votes.

Acuña helped lead the Atlanta Braves to the best record in baseball at 104-58. He was second in the NL with a .336 batting average and led the majors with 149 runs, 217 hits, 386 total bases and 73 stolen bases while hitting 41 home runs with 106 RBIs.

Mookie Betts, who won the 2018 AL MVP award, received all 30 second-place votes, while his Los Angeles Dodgers teammate and former Brave Freddie Freeman finished third.

With the final MLB awards announced, attention now turns to the winter hot stove, primarily Ohtani’s free agency.

The Japan-born star appeared to be a lock for a record-breaking contract this offseason, but injuries cut his 2023 campaign short, and he underwent right elbow surgery in September.

While Ohtani will certainly receive massive compensation, a second major surgery on his throwing elbow could complicate the equation for the Angels and the host of other teams likely to bid for his services.

Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery in 2018, and while the exact nature of his most recent surgery has not been revealed publicly, his team has said he will not pitch in 2024.

 

Phil Nevin will not return as manager of the Los Angeles Angels in 2024 after a second straight losing season.

The Angels declined Nevin’s contract option for next season, announcing they would find a new clubhouse leader in a statement Monday.

This winter, Los Angeles will hire their fourth manager in six seasons since Mike Scioscia’s 19-year tenure ended after the 2018 season.

Nevin, who took over for Joe Maddon during last season, went 119-149 as the Halos’ manager and missed the playoffs in both seasons.

The Angels flirted with a play-off spot and were five games over .500 at the end of July but went 17-38 down the stretch as stars Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout missed time due to injury.

ESPN reported Monday that general manager Perry Minasian will keep his job.

Los Angeles defeated the Oakland Athletics 7-3 Sunday to end the season.

“I know it didn't go the way we wanted, but I'm proud of the way that room held together,” Nevin said Sunday. “It wasn't fun. It's not fun ending the way we did, but it's a great group in there. There's a lot of great things that are on the horizon here with the young players and the guys coming back. Good future.”

The Angels are at a crossroads as an organisation with Ohtani set to hit free agency this winter and after Trout has missed significant time in two of the last three seasons.

Despite having two of baseball's most iconic stars, the Angels haven’t won a play-off game since 2009.

Shohei Ohtani was listed second on the Los Angeles Angels’ lineup card and slotted as the designated hitter Friday against the New York Mets despite his serious elbow injury.

Ohtani was removed from the mound in Wednesday’s start against the Cincinnati Reds after 26 pitches, and the Angels announced after the game that he will not pitch again this season due to a torn ligament in his right elbow.

Ohtani previously had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow after the 2018 season. The two-way superstar will seek a second medical opinion before making a decision regarding another potential surgery that would surely affect his upcoming free agency this offseason.

Until Ohtani’s recovery plan is set, the major-league home run leader plans to continue playing as a designated hitter.

“He’s going to play. So, as far as a second opinion goes, they’re still working on that,” general manager Perry Minasian told reporters. “Him and his representation are going to come up with a plan but as we sit here today, he’s going to play until he tells us he’s not.”

Ohtani finishes the year as a pitcher with a 10-5 record and an ERA of 3.14 with 167 strikeouts in 132 innings.

Ohtani is batting .304 with a 1.069 OPS, and his 44 home runs are two shy of his career high.

Star teammate Mike Trout returned to the injured list Friday as he continues to recover from a fractured bone in his left wrist.

Trout returned from a 38-game absence to go 1 for 4 on Tuesday but has not played since due to lingering soreness.

Shohei Ohtani’s likely MVP season took a major hit Wednesday night, when it was revealed that the two-way superstar has a tear in his elbow ligament that will prevent him from pitching the rest of the season.

Angels general manager Perry Minasian said the team didn’t know yet whether Ohtani will need surgery to repair the UCL ligament.

Ohtani left the mound in the middle of an at-bat during the second inning Wednesday in a doubleheader opener because of arm fatigue.

He served as the designated hitter in the nightcap and went 1 for 5 with a run scored. Ohtani has missed only two games all season, none since May 2.

Ohtani didn’t speak to the media after the game because he was getting further evaluation, but manager Phil Nevin said Ohtani told him that his pitching arm “just didn’t feel right.”

“He told me he didn’t feel any pain,” Nevin said after the Angels’ 9-4 loss in the opener. “It was just more of the same thing he’s been feeling for the last couple of weeks.”

Ohtani hit major league-leading 44th homer in the first inning of the opener, a two-run shot.

The superstar has struggled with blisters, cramps and other minor injuries to his pitching hand, but he was able to pitch through them while continuing to play every day at DH.

Ohtani is almost certain to win his second AL MVP award in three seasons. He entered the day 10-5 with a 3.17 ERA on the mound and his home run gave him 91 RBIs.

Shohei Ohtani will wear a Los Angeles Angels uniform through the remainder of the 2023 MLB season.

Angels general manager Perry Minasian told reporters before a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday that Ohtani won't be traded as the team tries to make a playoff run.

"We're going to roll the dice and see what happens," Minasian said.

The Angels entered Thursday four games out of a wild-card spot after winning six of their last seven games to improve their record to 52-49.

Set to be a free agent at season's end, Ohtani has been the subject of rampant trade rumours as the Angels risk losing the two-way superstar to the open market without any compensation.

"I love Shohei Ohtani," Minasian said. "He comes in, prepares, works, goes out and performs on a nightly basis. Obviously, does both (hitting and pitching). He's a great teammate. He takes this really seriously. He eats it. He sleeps it.

"He's somebody that we would love to have going forward."

Minasian made his comments a day after the Angels acquired right-hander Lucas Giolito from the Chicago White Sox to bolster their starting rotation behind Ohtani.

Giolito was 6-6 with a 3.79 ERA and 131 strikeouts over 121 innings in 21 starts for the White Sox.

Ohtani, the 2021 AL MVP and the runner-up in MVP voting to the New York Yankees' Aaron Judge last season, is the odds-on favourite to take home the MVP Award this year.

As a hitter, he leads the majors in home runs (36) and OPS (1.066), and as a pitcher, he leads MLB in opponent batting average (.195) while his 148 strikeouts are tied with Joe Ryan of the Minnesota Twins for fourth.

With Ohtani in the fold, the addition of Giolito and the possibility of Mike Trout returning in another few weeks from a broken bone in his hand that has sidelined the 11-time All-Star since early July, Los Angeles has its sights set on reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

The Angels' streak of eight consecutive seasons without a playoff berth is tied with the Tigers for the longest active stretch in MLB.

 

Shohei Ohtani’s solo shot keyed a three-run rally in the ninth inning, Trey Cabbage scored the walk-off run on a throwing error in the 10th and the Los Angeles Angels edged the Houston Astros 13-12 in a wild game Saturday.

Ohtani led off the home half of the ninth with his MLB-leading 33rd home run of the season, taking Houston closer Ryan Pressly deep. Taylor Ward scored on a passed ball later in the inning, and Hunter Renfroe’s RBI single tied the game.

After Ohtani was intentionally walked in the 10th, Astros rookie shortstop Grae Kessinger threw wide of first base while attempting to turn an inning-ending double play, allowing Cabbage to cross home plate and trigger a massive celebration.

The Angels, who had won just once in their previous 11 games, overcame deficits of six runs in the seventh inning and three runs in the ninth.

Both teams’ starters – Reid Detmers for the Angels and Framber Valdez of the Astros – pitched at least six innings, with 18 of the game’s 25 total runs coming in the seventh inning or later.  

Brewers blank Reds again, take NL Central lead

Freddie Peralta and three relievers combined to allow just one hit and the Milwaukee Brewers shut out the Cincinnati Reds for the third consecutive game, giving them sole possession of first place in the National League Central.

Christian Yelich homered on the first pitch of the game, and William Contreras and Owen Miller added solo shots later to secure the 3-0 win Saturday.

Peralta (6-7) got his first win since May 21 by throwing six strong innings, allowing one hit and two walks while striking out six.

Elvis Peguero and Joel Payamps pitched an inning each, and Devin Williams shut the door with his 22nd save of the season.

Milwaukee earned 1-0 victories over Cincinnati on July 9 – the last game before the All-Star break – and in the teams’ first game back on Friday. The Reds managed a total of just seven hits over those three games.

Orioles rally from 4 down, win 7th straight game

Gunnar Henderson hit a game-tying solo shot in the seventh inning, helping the Baltimore Orioles complete a four-run comeback and win collect their seventh straight win by beating the Miami Marlins 6-5.

The winning streak ties the Orioles’ season high and is the longest active run in the majors.

Baltimore (56-35) fell behind 4-0 in the second inning but entered the seventh trailing 5-4. Henderson led off the frame and hit a first pitch home run to tie the game, and Anthony Santander plated the go-ahead run with a one-out single.

Miami squandered a 4-for-5 night from Luis Arraez, who raised his batting average to .386 this season.  

Ozzie Albies hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the fifth inning to back 6 2/3 sharp innings from Spencer Strider as the Atlanta Braves earned a 6-3 victory over the Miami Marlins on Sunday to extend their winning streak to eight games.

Albies' 20th homer of the season gave Atlanta a 4-2 lead that Strider made hold up as the red-hot Braves completed a three-game series sweep over their closest National League East competitors. Atlanta has now won 16 of 17 to extend its lead over the second-place Marlins to nine games.

The Braves have also won 10 in a row at home and outscored Miami 29-7 for the series.

Strider, named to his first All-Star Game on Sunday, was touched for two runs in the second inning and an unearned run in the seventh, but got enough support via homers by Albies, Travis d'Arnaud and Orlando Arcia to win a fourth consecutive start. The hard-throwing right-hander recorded nine strikeouts to push his major league-leading total to 155.

Albies was also named an NL reserve for next week's All-Star Game, one of a league-high eight selections for Atlanta.

2022 NL Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara struggled again for Miami, allowing four runs in five innings to raise his season earned run average to 4.93.

Marlins All-Star Luis Arraez finished 2 for 4 with two RBIs to raise his MLB-leading batting average to .389.

 

Ohtani, Trout homers help Angels down Diamondbacks

American League All-Stars Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout had two of the Los Angeles Angels' three home runs in a 5-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks that prevented a sweep of the three-game series.

Mickey Moniak's three-run blast off Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen in the second inning put Los Angeles up 4-2 and helped the Angels snap a season-high four-game losing streak. Ohtani later launched a 454-foot drive into the right field seats in the eighth for his MLB-leading 31st homer of the season and sixth in seven games.

Angels starter Reid Detmers surrendered a two-run homer to Carson Kelly in the second, but held Arizona scoreless for the remainder of his six-inning stint and finished with nine strikeouts.

Gallen, named to his first All-Star Game for the NL squad earlier in the day, recorded 12 strikeouts in seven innings but was reached for four runs to fall to 10-3 on the season.

 

Astros hold off Rangers to close gap in AL West

Chas McCormick snapped a tie with a three-run triple in the top of the eighth inning, and the Houston Astros held on for a 5-3 win over the Texas Rangers in a matchup of the top two teams in the AL West.

McCormick's big hit off reliever Josh Sborz with the bases loaded staked Houston to a 4-1 lead, though the Rangers answered with Nathaniel Lowe's two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to pull back within one.

Jose Altuve homered in the top of the ninth to increase the lead to 5-3, however, and Ryan Pressly retired the Rangers in order in the bottom of the frame to notch his 17th save.

The win was Houston's fourth in five games and brought the reigning World Series champions within four games of first-place Texas in the division. The four-game Lone Star Series between the in-state rivals concludes Monday.

Texas lost for the sixth time in nine games and wasted a terrific start from Andrew Heaney, who struck out eight and allowed just three hits in five scoreless innings.

Jose Abreu finished 3 for 5 for the Astros, while McCormick and Altuve each collected two hits. 

 

Ten days after being named the American League's starting designated hitter for next week's All-Star Game, Los Angeles Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani was named to the AL's pitching staff.

Major League Baseball revealed all pitchers and reserves on Sunday for the July 11 game in Seattle, three days after starters were announced.

Ohtani was named an All-Star last week, however, as the league's top-vote getter.

This is the third year in a row Ohtani has been selected as a two-way starter for the All-Star Game.

He pitched and hit at the 2021 Midsummer Classic at Denver, though only hit at last year's game at Dodger Stadium.

The 28-year-old phenom from Japan entered play Sunday, ranking second in the AL in strikeouts (127) and eighth in ERA (3.02).

He also leads all of baseball in home runs (30), slugging percentage (.666) and OPS (1.057).

The Atlanta Braves lead MLB with eight players selected to the All-Star Game - the most by any team since the Texas Rangers in 2012 - after pitchers Spencer Strider and Bryce Elder, first baseman Matt Olson, second baseman Ozzie Albies and third baseman Austin Riley joined the club's previously named starters - outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., shortstop Orlando Arcia and catcher Sean Murphy.

The Braves enter Sunday with the majors' best record at 55-27.

 

Shohei Ohtani once again displayed his two-way brilliance Tuesday, striking out 10 batters from the mound and hitting two home runs to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 4-2 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Ohtani was 3 for 3 from the plate with a walk, and solo shots in the first and seventh innings raised his home run total to 28 on the season, extending his major-league lead.

Ohtani (7-3) allowed one run while pitching 6 1/3 innings, striking out 10 and collecting the win.

The superstar from Japan is just the sixth player in baseball history to hit two home runs while striking out 10 or more batters in a game.

Ohtani is now batting .304 on the season with a 1.009 OPS, and Tuesday’s performance lowered his ERA to 3.02 this year.

Eloy Jimenez was 3 for 4 for the White Sox and scored on an Andrew Vaughn single in the ninth to make things interesting, but Angels closer Carlos Estevez shut the door for his 20th save of the season.  

Mets beat Brewers ahead of owner Cohen’s presser

Brandon Nimmo hit two home runs, David Peterson tossed six shutout innings and the slumping New York Mets beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-2.

The victory came hours after Mets owner Steve Cohen announced on Twitter that he plans to hold a news conference Wednesday to address his team’s struggles.

After winning 101 games last year, New York is 36-43 this season and had lost 16 of their previous 21 games before Tuesday’s victory.

The Mets entered the season with an all-time record payroll of $355million.

Manager Buck Showalter hinted before the game that the Mets’ struggles have been tough for Cohen to tolerate.

“He’s frustrated - very competitive man, trust me, very competitive man,” Showalter said. “He likes to win.”

Kershaw, Martinez in spotlight as Dodgers blank Rockies

Clayton Kershaw gave up just one hit in six dominant innings, J.D. Martinez went deep twice to reach 300 home runs in his career and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 5-0.

Kershaw held the Rockies hitless until a Brenton Doyle single with two outs in the sixth and needed just 79 pitches to collect his 10th win of the season.

Kershaw, whose only career no-hitter came against the Rockies in 2014, said after the game that he was battling fatigue but plans to make his next scheduled start.

Martinez hit a two-run shot in the third inning, then hit his milestone home run in the sixth – a solo shot off Brad Hand.

Spencer Strider struck out 10 in seven innings and Marcell Ozuna hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh for the red-hot Atlanta Braves, who recorded their 11th win in 12 games with a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Monday.

Ozuna snapped a 1-1 tie with his third homer in five games, while Ronald Acuna Jr. added a two-run shot later in the seventh to help Atlanta take the opener of this three-game series between division leaders. 

The Braves are now 18-3 since June 3 and own the National League's best record at 51-27.

Strider improved to 9-2 by holding the AL Central-leading Twins to one run and three hits while extending his MLB-leading strikeout total to 146. The right-hander's only blemish came when he allowed a solo homer to Joey Gallo in the second inning.

Minnesota starter Sonny Gray matched Strider for six innings before surrendering Ozuna's blast and a two-out single by Michael Harris that chased him from the game. He was charged with three runs and struck out five in 6 2/3 innings. 

 

Ohtani's 26th home run helps Angels edge White Sox

Shohei Ohtani retook sole possession of the major league home run lead and Mike Trout scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Los Angeles Angels a 2-1 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Trout led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk against Reynaldo Lopez and Ohtani greeted reliever Aaron Bummer with a walk before the two stars executed a double steal to put two on with none out. After Bummer struck out Brandon Drury, the left-hander uncorked an errant pitch that allowed Trout to slide into home plate with the deciding run.

Ohtani tied the contest at 1-1 with his 26th homer of the season, a 446-foot blast into the right field seats off Dylan Cease in the fourth inning that snapped a tie with Atlanta's Matt Olson for the most in the majors.

Both Cease and the Angels' Reid Detmers engaged in a stellar pitching duel from that point on. Detmers yielded a run on just two hits and two walks while striking out 10 in seven innings. Cease also fanned 10 while allowing one run on five hits in six innings.

Luis Robert homered for the fourth time in three games in the first inning to account for Chicago's lone run. 

 

Orioles withstand long delay to rout Reds

A rain delay of nearly two hours wasn't enough time to slow down the Baltimore Orioles' bats in a 10-3 win over the suddenly struggling Cincinnati Reds.

Five Baltimore players each collected two hits as the Orioles overcame a 1-hour, 44-minute stoppage in the second inning to earn their third consecutive win. Austin Hays gave Baltimore a 2-1 lead with a two-run single before the delay and finished with three RBIs, while Adley Rutschman drove in two runs in the rout.

Jordan Westburg, ranked the Orioles' No. 3 prospect by MLB.com, made his big league debut and recorded his first hit with a fifth-inning single. The second baseman also drove in a run on a fielder's choice.

The Reds were dealt a third straight loss following a 12-game winning streak that was the club's longest since 1957. Cincinnati dropped a half-game behind Milwaukee for first place in the NL Central after the Brewers defeated the New York Mets, 2-1, on Monday. 

Spencer Steer homered and knocked in all three Cincinnati runs while finishing 3 for 3.

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