Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels Becomes First Japanese Player to Hit for the Cycle

Shohei Ohtani is the first Japanese-born player to hit for the cycle and first Los Angeles Angel to do so since Mike Trout.

Shohei Ohtani
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 13: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels connects with a single in front of Mike Zunino #10 of the Tampa Bay Rays in the seventh inning of a baseball game at Tropicana Field on June 13, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. The single completed Ohtani hitting for the cycle in the game. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

Shohei Ohtani found a major way to contribute to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday. He single-handedly led the Los Angeles Angels to a win, as he was one of only three players in the starting lineup to get a hit. However, he figured out how to do a little more and hit for Major League Baseball’s second cycle of the 2019 season and 326th in history.

Shohei Ohtani Hits for the Cycle

It was not without entertainment, as the designated hitter/pitcher got his home run out of the way in the first inning with a three-run shot. Ohtani came to the plate again in the third inning and checked off the double with a line drive to left field.

Then there was a power outage at Tropicana Field that caused a bit of a delay in the 24-year-old’s bid for history. When the power came back, Ohtani hit his third career triple down the right field line. Ohtani cruised into third base standing up and was one single away from the cycle.

He came to the plate in the top of the seventh inning with two outs looking for a single. On a 3-2 count, he came through and flared a single to the outfield. Ohtani made his way down the first base line right into the record books.

How the Phenom Got Here

Shohei Ohtani was brought from Japan just before the 2018 season and burst onto the scene as the two way phenom he proved to be in his native country. He hit .285/.361/.564 with 22 home runs and 61 RBI. Ohtani was also able to throw 51 2/3 innings as a starting pitcher. He pitched to a 3.31 ERA and struck out 63 batters. It was everything the Angels wanted.

Then he had to get Tommy John surgery.

Ohtani returned from his rehab, as hitters can before pitchers, and struggled out of the gate. Over the past 14 days, he has hit .293/.348/.683 and has looked like the hitter the Angels want him to be.

It is safe to say that Shohei Ohtani has knocked the rust off. He has joined some of the greats in history with his cycle. Ohtani’s is a little more special as he will go down in the record books as the first Japanese-born player to hit for the cycle.

This is hopefully the restart of what could be a really special career.

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