Los Angeles (AFP) – Japanese two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani continued his assault on the record books on Friday, becoming the first Los Angeles Angels rookie to homer in each of his first three home games.
The 23-year-old phenom is living up to the hype, crushing a fastball from pitcher Daniel Gossett 449 feet over the centre field wall as the Angels rallied to beat the Oakland A’s 13-9 at Angels Stadium.
Ohtani’s second inning blast reduced Oakland’s lead to 6-1.
He has now homered off Cleveland Indians Josh Tomlin on Tuesday and reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber on Wednesday.
The left-handed slugger also flied out in the fourth inning, earned a bases-loaded walk in the fifth and ground out in the seventh.
He is now seven-for-16 with three home runs and six RBIs in his first four starts at designated hitter.
Ohtani, who throws right-handed when he pitches, is scheduled to make his second Major League Baseball start on the mound Sunday against the A’s. He is the first player to hit three home runs between a pair of pitching starts since Babe Ruth did it in 1919.
Ohtani had struggled during spring training for the Angels, prompting some observers to question whether he was ready to make his major league debut.
However, he has assuaged those concerns during his performances since the opening of the season.
Ohtani was signed by the Angels after resisting overtures from several leading MLB franchises including the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants.