Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani hits the longest home run at Oracle Park in almost two years

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Shohei Ohtani really wanted a blowout at San Francisco’s McCovey Cove, and he came oh-so-close Tuesday night.

Ohtani’s 400-foot drive for the Dodgers during a 10-2 win against the Giants landed above the brick facade in right-center for the longest home run at Oracle Park in nearly two years — since Christian Walker hit a 400-foot drive against Alex Cobb on August 15, 2022.

“You don’t see many guys hitting the ball that far to that part of the ballpark. Luckily I played with one here,” manager Dave Roberts said of home run king Barry Bonds. ‘That was quite impressive. … That’s Barry territory.”

Ohtani acknowledged afterwards that he is finally sleeping better again. He’s struggled to get enough rest amid his former interpreter’s gambling scandal this spring – and he certainly seems refreshed at the moment.

“Obviously initially I didn’t sleep much because of the things that were happening, but now I’ve really been able to have a pretty consistent routine and sleep well, so I think this is leading to good results,” Ohtani said via Will Ireton, his new interpreter.

When asked how he was able to sleep better, Ohtani added: “I think as the incidents progressed and I actually did what I could to show that I was okay, and as the incidents progressed and the investigation was ongoing and I started not being involved anymore, then I could really focus on my sleep and I could sleep better.”

Earlier in the day, former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara pleaded not guilty to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he negotiated with federal prosecutors in a sprawling sports betting case. Prosecutors say he stole nearly $17 million from Ohtani to pay off his sports gambling debts during a years-long scheme.

Ohtani’s 12th home run early in the fourth inning had an exit velocity of 110 mph, the heaviest-hit ball at Oracle this year and the seventh-heaviest ever since the Statcast era began in 2015.

“I thought it was going in the water at first,” Dodgers pitcher Gavin Stone said. “That was sick.”

The 29-year-old Ohtani, who had three hits and two RBIs, has seen many of Bonds’ home runs land in the water behind the right-field wall, and the Japanese star could have reached the bay had he pulled the ball.

“I thought I hit one today,” he said, “but I was disappointed it didn’t go over.”

He signed a 10-year contract worth $700 million and will have 10 more years to keep trying.