Shohei Ohtani became the first Japanese-born player to hit for the cycle, helping the Angels beat host Tampa Bay 5-3 on Thursday night.
“You need some power to hit the home run, some speed to accomplish a triple,” Ohtani said through an interpreter. “To be able to do that at the major-league level is going to lead to a lot of confidence. The important thing now is to try to continue this tomorrow.”
Ohtani hit a three-run homer in the first inning, led off the third with a double and tripled in the fifth before he completed the feat with a single on a 3-2 pitch in the seventh. It was the Angels’ sixth and final hit of the game.
“I wasn’t necessarily trying to hit a single,” he said. “I was just trying to get on base, whether it was a base on balls or any other way because it was still a close game.”
Ohtani is the eighth Angels player to hit for the cycle and the first since Mike Trout on May 21, 2013.
“We forget how young he is,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “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.”
“There have been so many other great Japanese players before me,” Ohtani said. “Being the first to accomplish it makes me very happy.”
Albert Pujols also homered for the Angels, becoming the sixth player with 200 home runs in each league. He hit 445 in 11 seasons with St. Louis and has 200 in eight years with the Angels, including 12 this season.
Frank Robinson, Ken Griffey Jr., Mark McGwire, Fred McGriff and Vladimir Guerrero Sr. are the others on the list.
D’backs 5, Nationals 0: Zack Greinke took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and Alex Avila and Jarrod Dyson homered for visiting Arizona, which has won seven of eight. Greinke (8-2) allowed two hits in 7 ⅓ innings, leaving after a 63-minute rain delay.
Rockies 9, Padres 6: Charlie Blackmon hit two solo homers and added a two-run triple as Colorado won at home for the 11th time in 12 games. Manny Machado had two homers for San Diego.
Red Sox 7, Rangers 6: Xander Bogaerts hit a solo homer in the seventh inning, his team’s fifth long ball of the game, and host Boston rallied from a five-run deficit to earn a split of the four-game series.
Royals 7, Tigers 3: Nicky Lopez hit his first major-league homer in the stadium where he played college ball, Homer Bailey allowed two hits in six shutout innings and Kansas City won in Omaha, Neb. The game at TD Ameritrade Park coincided with the buildup to the College World Series, which begins Saturday.
Braves 6, Pirates 5: Josh Donaldson drove in the tie-breaking run in host Atlanta’s five-run fifth inning as the Braves completed a four-game sweep to extend their winning streak to seven games.
Twins 10, Mariners 5: Nelson Cruz hit a home run — his fifth in seven games — and C.J. Cron also went deep for host Minnesota.
Blue Jays 12, Orioles 3: Cavan Biggio, who came into the game batting .146 with one home run and three RBIs, went deep twice and visiting Toronto reached a season high in runs and hits (17).
White Sox 5, Yankees 4: Leury Garcia hit a tie-breaking solo homer on the 11th pitch of his seventh-inning at-bat against Adam Ottavino as host Chicago won for the fourth time in five games.
Dodgers 7, Cubs 3: Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and David Freese hit two-run homers as host Los Angeles won the opener of a four-game series. The Dodgers rallied from a 3-0 deficit after Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant hit homers for Chicago in the early innings.
Cardinals-Mets, suspended: Harrison Bader hit an RBI double with two outs in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game 4-4, then the game was suspended because of rain before New York could bat in the bottom of the inning. Play will resume Friday.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Shohei-Ohtani-hits-for-cycle-as-Angels-beat-Rays-13994525.php.