Baseball / MLB

Shohei Ohtani first Japanese player to hit for cycle in MLB

AP, Kyodo, Reuters

Shohei Ohtani became the first Japanese-born player to hit for the cycle, helping the Los Angeles Angels beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 Thursday night after a delay caused by a power outage.

Ohtani hit a three-run homer in the first inning and completed the feat with a single in the seventh. He is the eighth Angels player to hit for the cycle and the first since Mike Trout on May 21, 2013.

Albert Pujols also homered for the Angels, becoming the sixth player ever with 200 home runs in each league. He hit 445 in 11 seasons with St. Louis and has 200 in eight years with the Angels, including 12 this season.

Ohtani’s homer came on Ryan Yarbrough’s 10th pitch of the game after a double by Tommy La Stella and a walk to Trout. It was Ohtani’s eighth homer of the season and sixth in 11 games.

He led off the third with a double and tripled in the fifth before Pujols’ home run. A two-out single in the seventh completed the cycle in just four plate appearances, and fans at Tropicana Field gave him a standing ovation.

“We were still in the middle of the game so I shifted mental gears quickly but I saw that my teammates were excited in the dugout, so that was good,” Ohtani said when asked how he felt the moment he completed the cycle.

“There have been great (Japanese) players before me, and I’m glad to become the first to complete it. It gives me confidence.”

The game was held up 36 minutes by a power delay in the fourth with the Angels leading 3-0.

Tommy Pham had two hits and drove in two for the Rays, who have lost three straight.

Yarbrough (5-3) gave up five runs and five hits (all for extra bases) in six innings, striking out four.

Angels starter Tyler Skaggs (5-6) pitched five innings, giving up three runs and seven hits while striking out five in the Angels’ third straight win.

Cam Bedrosian pitched the ninth for his first save.

Ohtani won’t pitch again until next season, but he might be on a mound again within a month. Relegated to a DH role while recovering from Oct. 1 Tommy John surgery, the 2018 AL Rookie of the Year might be throwing off a mound before the All-Star break.

“I won’t say it’s probable, but it’s possible,” Los Angeles manager Brad Ausmus said.

Diamondbacks 5, Nationals 0

In Washington, Zack Greinke took a no-hitter into the seventh, his teammates hit two homers and Arizona blanked the hosts.

Greinke (8-2) had faced the minimum 18 hitters until leadoff man Trea Turner hit a hard grounder to first baseman Christian Walker to begin the bottom of the seventh. Walker dove to his right to make the stop but fumbled the ball on the exchange and couldn’t make a throw as the official scorer ruled it a hit.

Greinke allowed those two hits, struck out three and walked none in 7⅓ innings, throwing 75 pitches. He did not return after a rain delay of 63 minutes. The loss came in the first of a four-game series and 11-game homestand for the Nationals, who had won 12 of their previous 17 outings.

Diamondbacks reliever Yoshihisa Hirano worked two-thirds of an inning. He fanned one batter.

Twins 10, Mariners 5

In Minneapolis, Nelson Cruz homered and drove in three runs and C.J. Cron added a two-run blast to lead the hosts past Seattle.

Cruz finished 3-for-4 with a walk and scored two runs, and Ehire Adrianza went 3-for-5 and scored a run as Minnesota improved to 18-4 following a loss this season. Jorge Polanco went 2-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.

Daniel Vogelbach went 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI, Kyle Seager finished 2-for-5 with a double and RBI and Dylan Moore had a two-run double for the Mariners, who lost for the 11th time in their last 12 games following a win.

Seattle starter Yusei Kikuchi, who got a no-decision, pitched five innings of one-run ball. He allowed six hits, walked one and struck out two.

Rockies 9, Padres 6

In Denver, Jon Gray survived a rough first inning for another dominant outing against San Diego while Charlie Blackmon carried Colorado’s offense to another win at home.

Blackmon homered twice to back a 10-strikeout start from Gray.

Blackmon added a two-run triple and finished with four hits and four RBIs to continue his hot start to June. Trevor Story also homered for the Rockies, who have won 11 of 12 at Coors Field.

Blackmon returned last weekend from a calf injury that sidelined him for two weeks and immediately started hitting. He is batting .440 in six games with four home runs and 10 RBIs.

“Seeing how well he is in the zone right now, he’s in his own place,” Gray said.

“It’s scary for other pitchers and good for us.”

Gray has been a scary matchup for the Padres and is now 10-3 with 135 strikeouts in 18 career starts against San Diego. The strikeouts are the most against the Padres in Colorado franchise history.

The Padres Manny Machado bashed two homers in defeat.

Cardinals 4, Mets 4 (susp.)

In New York, Kolten Wong and Harrison Bader delivered back-to-back run-scoring hits with two outs in the ninth inning. The game was subsequently suspended due to torrential rains.

In Other Games

Dodgers 7, Cubs 3

White Sox 5, Yankees 4

Red Sox 7, Rangers 6

Braves 6, Pirates 5

Royals 7, Tigers 3

Blue Jays 12, Orioles 3