Lun. May 27th, 2024

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LOS ANGELES — Dave Roberts recently joked that Shohei Ohtani should gift him a Porsche when the slugger breaks his Dodgers record for most home runs by a Japanese-born player.

Ohtani obliged, just maybe not in the way Roberts imagined.

Before Friday’s game against the Atlanta Braves, Ohtani gifted Roberts a purple toy model Porsche in his office. Roberts said the car is sitting on his desk.

Ohtani hit his eighth home run, and surpassed Roberts’ mark, with a solo shot to right-center during the third inning of Saturday’s 11-3 rout of the Braves.

«He did buy me a car. I guess I didn’t specify what type of car,» Roberts said before the game. «So I can’t say he never gave me anything.»

Ohtani gifted Ashley Kelly, the wife of Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly, a Porsche for Kelly giving up No. 17 when Ohtani signed with the Dodgers in December. Kelly’s wife took to social media while Ohtani was weighing his free agency decision promising him that he could have the number and all the gear associated with it.

Roberts, born in Naha, Okinawa, Japan, to a Japanese mother and American father, hit seven home runs for the Dodgers from 2002 to 2004

Ohtani has 179 career home runs in the majors. He surpassed Hideki Matsui for most by a Japanese-born player earlier this month. Matsui had 175 during a 10-year career.

«Relieved,» Ohtani said with a smile about surpassing Roberts’ mark.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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