Japanese Baseball Phenom Hits First Homer In MLB

Japanese Baseball Phenom Hits First Homer In MLB

Japanese Baseball Phenom Hits First Homer In MLB

Shohei Ohtani clubbed his first career Major League Baseball home run with a 3-run shot to right field against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.

In his first start as a pitcher Sunday, Shohei Ohtani struck out the first batter he faced en route to a win over Oakland.

Ohtani's homer just cleared the fence in right field, which the Angels had lowered from 18 feet to eight feet during the offseason.

The homer was Ohtani's second hit in the majors - his first was in his first big league at-bat, at Oakland last Thursday.

Ohtani beat the Athletics on Sunday, working six innings and allowing three earned runs on three hits and one walk to go with six strikeouts. In fact, Ramirez's home run was the only hit Richards (1-0) allowed before coming out of the game after 5 2/3 innings and making 102 pitches. The Angels had $2.315 million in global signing money to offer Ohtani.

Rookie Shohei Ohtani came over from Japan hyped as a two-way player and after an up-and-down spring training, critics questioned whether the hype was justified.

Ohtani is the first player to win as a starting pitcher, then start and homer as a non-pitcher in his next game in the same season since Babe Ruth in 1921, according to STATS LLC. The Babe was playing for the Yankees by that point, but Ohtani matched two other Boston accomplishments with his performance as designated hitter Tuesday. But with a fastball that mirrors that of Noah Syndergaard, and a splitter that looks like Masahiro Tanaka's, the Angels are more than willing to let Ohtani find his way with the bat while taking advantage of his pitching abilities every fifth day.

Matt Citak is a contributor for CBS Local Sports and a proud Vanderbilt alum.

Related news