Shohei Ohtani crushes first home run with Dodgers in big spot vs. rival Giants

Shohei Ohtani’s first Dodgers home run came against Los Angeles’ biggest rivals.

The two-time MVP smacked his first long ball with his new club in the seventh inning on Wednesday night against the Giants, adding to the Dodgers’ lead in a tightly contested ballgame that they won, 5-4.

“Honestly, very relieved that I was able to hit my first homer,” Ohtani said through interpreter Will Ireton. “It’s been a while and honestly my swing hasn’t been great. So overall very relieved.”

Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a solo home run during the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium on April 3, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.
Shohei Ohtani belts a solo home run in the seventh inning of the Dodgers’ 5-4 win over the Giants. Getty Images

Ohtani hadn’t gotten off to the strongest of starts through the team’s first eight games, going 8-for-33 with a .631 OPS and just three extra-base hits.

But with one hit already on the books, Ohtani was ready for more as he faced left-handed reliever Taylor Rogers and the Dodgers up 4-3 in the seventh.

Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani celebrates as he runs the bases after hitting a home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in Los Angeles, Wednesday, April 3, 2024.
Shohei Ohtani celebrates as he runs the bases after hitting a solo home run in the seventh inning in the Dodgers’ win. AP

The two-way Japanese superstar slugged a 3-1 offering on the outside corner over the right-center field wall to put the Dodgers up by two runs.

The home run came in the 41st plate appearance for the two-time MVP, who left the Los Angeles Angels after last season as a free agent and agreed to a record $700 million, 10-year contract with the Dodgers.

Ohtani met the fan who caught his home run ball after the game. He gave the fan a ball, a bat and two hats in exchange for the home run ball.

“Obviously, it’s a very special ball,” Ohtani said. “A lot of feelings toward it. I’m very grateful that it’s back.”

As the ball went 430 feet at 105.6 mph, SportsNet LA play-by-play voice Joe Davis brought some extra excitement for his call.

“Drilled, oh oh, Shohei Ohtani — first Dodgers home run!” Davis said in amazement at the blast.

After a brief interjection from Orel Hershiser, the two let the game breathe as the exuberant 52,746 fans at Dodger Stadium reveled in the moment.

The fan who ended up with the ball was particularly excited as a woman in a Dodgers bucket cap had the ball in her right hand and held it up triumphantly as the fans near her celebrated.

After Ohtani took his trot around the bases, he headed toward the dugout and was greeted by teammate Teoscar Hernandez — who threw a big handful of sunflower seeds right in his face.

The home run proved to be the difference, as the Dodgers won their second straight one-run contest and third overall against the Giants.

— with AP


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *