Los Angeles Angels assigned hitter Shohei Ohtani hit for the cycle Thursday night in a 5-3 triumph over the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Ohtani turned into the principal Japanese-conceived player to hit for the cycle in MLB. He did it with a solitary in the seventh inning off Tampa Bay reliever Hunter Wood. That pursued a three-run grand slam in the initial, a twofold in the third and a triple in the fifth.
“I wasn’t necessarily trying to hit a single,” he said through a translator. “I was just trying to get on base, whether it was a base on balls or any other way because it was still a close game.”
After the triple in his third at-bat, Ohtani’s cycle journey turned into the focal point of the game.
“People were talking about it. It’s not like a no-hitter when no one mentions it,” said Angels manager Brad Ausmus, who was most inspired that the left-gave hitting Ohtani got his initial three hits off a left-gave pitcher. “We forget how young he is. He’s in a new country, his second year here. He’s 24 years old. He carries a lot on his shoulders, but he still stands pretty tall.”
Ohtani joins Jorge Polanco as the main players to hit for the cycle this season. He is the seventh various Angels player to hit for the cycle and the first since Mike Trout in 2013.
Ohtani is only the 6th player in MLB history to hit for the cycle as a DH, and first since Jeff DaVanon (likewise for the Angels) in 2004.
“You need some power to hit the home run, some speed to accomplish a triple,” Ohtani said. “To be able to do that at the major league level is going to lead to a lot of confidence. The important thing now is to try to continue this tomorrow.”
Ohtani said being the first Japanese player to do it was extra special.
“There’s been so many other great Japanese players before me. Being the first to accomplish it makes me very happy,” he said.
Data from The Associated Press was utilized in this report.