Tempe, Arizona – Shohei Ohtani crushed a monster two-run homer Wednesday to help lift the Los Angeles Angels to a 6-2 spring training win over the Texas Rangers.
The 143-meter blast, which cleared the batter’s eye screen behind center field, continues an impressive spring for the two-way star, who is scheduled for his first Cactus League start of the year on Friday against the Oakland Athletics.
Ohtani finished the six-inning game 1-for-2 with a walk, after going 2-for-3 with two runs scored in his spring debut on Monday.
The home run, Ohtani’s first in a spring training game, came on a full count in the fifth inning and drew a big reaction from his teammates at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
“The swing felt good. It feels like I’m seeing the ball well and identifying balls from strikes, and I can get much better,” said Ohtani, who batted second in the lineup as the designated hitter.
The 26-year-old’s apparently strong physical condition is a positive sign as he prepares to resume two-way duties in his fourth major league season.
Ohtani, the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year, did not pitch in 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery and made only two starts in 2020 before going down with a flexor strain.
While he achieved good velocity throwing in a live bullpen session and at batting practice, Friday’s start against the Athletics will provide a bigger test.
“I think I’ll be throwing mainly fastballs,” Ohtani said.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.