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MLB: Ohtani goes 4-4 with 2 home runs as Angels beat Rangers 9-2

Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani follows through on a two-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the eighth inning of a baseball game on Sept. 5, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)

ARLINGTON, Texas (Kyodo) -- Shohei Ohtani blasted a pair of homers in a 4-for-4 outing Wednesday to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 9-3 win over the Texas Rangers, equaling the single-season home run record by a Japanese major league rookie in the process.

After receiving a recommendation for Tommy John surgery earlier in the day, the 24-year-old two-way phenomenon emphatically showed there were no ill effects on his batting from the damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

A day after hitting home run No. 16 of the season in a 4-2 loss to the Rangers, Ohtani added 17 and 18, respectively, with a towering solo to right off Austin Bibens-Dirkx in the fifth and an almost-identical two-run effort off Eddie Butler in the eighth.

With his 18th home run, the rookie tied the record set by catcher Kenji Johjima as a member of the Seattle Mariners in 2006.

Ohtani finished the game with four runs and four RBIs, as well as a walk, marking the second time this season he has collected four hits and two homers in a game. He previously achieved the feat on Aug. 3 at Cleveland, according to MLB.com.

Batting third in the lineup as designated hitter, Ohtani drew a walk from starter Bartolo Colon in his first plate visit, then hit a deflected single off the right-hander in the third. The two homers bookended a line drive single off rookie reliever C.D. Pelham in the seventh.

Starter Jaime Barria (10-8) got the win after striking out five and allowing just two hits in five innings. Colon (7-12) was tagged with the loss after giving up four runs on seven hits in four innings.

The Angels on Wednesday announced that an MRI exam had revealed new damage to Ohtani's pitching elbow, and that they had recommended he undergo Tommy John surgery. The procedure would likely keep him off the mound until the 2020 season.

General manager Billy Eppler said he planned to meet with Ohtani on Monday to discuss the situation further. Ohtani, who is cleared to continue hitting for the time being, is expected to stay with the club for its trip to Chicago this weekend.

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