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Shohei Ohtani Puts on a Show in Spring Training Debut for the Dodgers

MLB superstar Shohei Ohtani belts a two-run homer in the fifth inning, helping his new team beat the Chicago White Sox in its Cactus League opener.



Shohei Ohtani
Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani hits a two-run home run in the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox on February 27, 2024, in Glendale, Arizona. (KYODO)

Read the full story on SportsLook - Shohei Ohtani Puts on a Show in Spring Training Debut for the Dodgers

Shohei Ohtani looked right at home in Dodger blue.

Making his spring training debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, February 27, Ohtani didn't disappoint, sparking his new team to a 9-6 win.

The two-time unanimous American League MVP hit a towering two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona, to cut Chicago's lead to 4-3.

Ohtani signed a record 10-year deal ($700 million USD, or about ¥100 billion JPY) in December 2023 and heads into the 2024 MLB season as the most talked about man in baseball.

After going through a second major right elbow surgery last September, a lot of the focus in the Cactus League games Ohtani plays in will be on his condition. 

Ohtani is not expected to pitch in 2024 and will focus on hitting. He said after leaving the game he feels he's making steady progress.


"I definitely felt good at the plate," said Ohtani, who hit an AL-leading 44 homers in 2023 for the Los Angeles Angels before adding, "I felt a little better each time I got up."

Ohtani then said, "This was just the first game and it all starts from here. I want to do everything I can to help the team."

Shohei Ohtani
Shohei Ohtani is congratulated by teammates after hitting a fifth-inning home run. (KYODO)

A Solid Start for Shohei Ohtani

The Iwate Prefecture native had three at-bats in total. In his last at-bat of the game, Ohtani gave the fans a show. Facing Dominic Leone, the Japanese star worked the count full before connecting for an opposite-field homer that easily cleared the wall in left field.

Ohtani was batting as the designated hitter, second in the Dodgers lineup behind seven-time All-Star Mookie Betts and before Freddie Freeman. That is likely where Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will use him this season although things could change.

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.


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Author: Jim Armstrong

The author is a longtime journalist who has covered sports in Japan for over 25 years. You can find his articles on SportsLook.


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