Shohei Ohtani ousted by Juan Soto in first round of Home Run Derby

DENVER — A Home Run Derby first-round showdown ended with Washington Nationals star Juan Soto outlasting Los Angeles Angels two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani in double overtime Monday night.

Soto and Ohtani were tied with 22 home runs each after the first round, then hit six more apiece in the first overtime, which lasted a minute. Per Home Run Derby rules, the two players were given three more swings apiece in a sudden-death showdown. Soto hit home runs on all three of his swings, while Ohtani hit a line drive to right field on his first swing, ending the contest.

The final tally was 31 home runs to 28.

Both players hit balls over 500 feet, with Soto topping out at 520 feet and Ohtani at 513 feet. Soto had a consistent round while Ohtani started slow but had a huge finish to force the overtimes.

At several points throughout the matchup, the crowd began chanting Ohtani’s name, urging him on. It might have boosted his finish in regulation, but the American League’s leadoff hitter and starting pitcher for Tuesday’s All-Star Game came up short in the end.

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