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Shohei Ohtani Hits First Dodgers Home Run Following a Slightly Sluggish Start

Byeditor

Apr 4, 2024

Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Dodgers finally hit his first home run after nine games of anticipation. The two-way phenom achieved his first long ball of the season during a 5-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants, sending a deep shot into the stands at Dodger Stadium off reliever Taylor Rogers. The ball traveled 430 feet and left the bat at an impressive speed of 105.6 mph, as measured by Statcast.

There was something different about Ohtani’s contact with the ball, as is often the case with his homers. A fan who caught the ball was later escorted from the stands. She exchanged the home run ball for two caps, a bat, a meeting with Ohtani, and another ball. Left-handed home runs against Rogers are rare, as the sidearm left-hander has only allowed eight in his nine-year MLB career, with Ohtani hitting the first against him in 2021.

The Dodgers took a 5-3 lead over the Giants after Ohtani’s homer, which proved crucial when San Francisco’s Jorge Soler hit a solo home run in the following inning to reduce the lead to one run. The Dodgers secured the win after journeyman reliever Dinelson Lamet recorded his first career save with a perfect ninth inning.

Ohtani’s homer marked a turning point after a somewhat slow start to the season. As the most famous player in baseball, Ohtani faced immense pressure after signing a massive deal with the Dodgers. His performance had met expectations so far, and he expressed relief after hitting his first homer. Ohtani is now closing in on becoming the Japanese-born player with the most home runs in Dodgers history, trailing current manager Dave Roberts by just six homers, as pointed out by MLB.com’s Sarah Langs.

By editor

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