Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani hit the cycle Thursday night in a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Ohtani became the first Japanese-born player to hit for the cycle in MLB. Tampa Bay reliever Hunter Wood. That followed a three-run home run in the first, a double in the third and a triple in the fifth.
"I was not really trying to hit a single," he said through a translator Ohtani's cycle quest became the focus of the game.
After the triple in his third at-bat, Ohtani's cycle quest became the focus of the game
"It's not like a no-hitter when there's no one mentions it," said Angels manager Brad Ausmus, who was impressed that the left-handed-hitting Ohtani got his first three hits off a left-handed 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 only player to hit for the cycle this season. He is the seventh different Angels player to hit for the cycle and first since Mike Trout in 201
Ohtani is just the sixth player in MLB history to hit for the cycle as a DH, and first since Jeff DaVanon (hence 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.
Ohtani said he was the first Japanese player to do that extra special.
"There are so many other great Japanese players before me accomplish it makes me very happy, '' he said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.