Shohei Ohtani becomes first Japanese-born player to hit for the cycle

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports

Not even a power outage at Tropicana Field could stop Shohei Ohtani.

In fact, the Los Angeles Angels designated hitter provided his own power surge in their 5-3 victory against the Tampa Bay Rays, and made some pretty cool history in the process.

Ohtani became the first Japanese-born player in Major League Baseball history to hit for the cycle, completing his feat with a single in the seventh inning.

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That’s right. Ohtani only needed four at-bats to complete a feat that Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui and many other notable Japanese hitters had previously been unable to achieve.

Ohtani got himself and the Angels off to a great start, launching a three-run home run in the very first inning. He continued pounding the baseball his next time up, ripping a double leading off the third inning,

The only real drama came in the fourth inning, when a storm-related power outage forced a 34-minute delay. Once power was restored, Ohtani started another mini-rally with a fifth-inning triple. He would later score on Albert Pujols’ 200th Angels home run, which made him a footnote in two more pretty cool historic occurrences.

Ohtani is the eighth player in Angels history to hit for the cycle. The most recent was Mike Trout on May 21, 2013. He’s also just the sixth ever designated hitter to complete a cycle.

It’s the second cycle in MLB this season. Jorge Polanco of the Minnesota Twins completed the cycle on April 5 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Ohtani, 24, missed the Angels’ first 34 games while recovering from offseason Tommy John surgery. The recovery will limit the two-way start to hitting duties only for the entire 2019 season, but he’s expected to begin ramping up pitching efforts with an eye toward a 2020 return to the hill.

Once completely healthy, the question will then become: Can Ohtani become the first MLB player to complete a cycle and pitch a no-hitter?

Angels' designated hitter Shohei Ohtani hit for the cycle against the Rays. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Angels' designated hitter Shohei Ohtani hit for the cycle against the Rays. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

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