Shohei Ohtani Homers Twice in WBC Warmup Game
21:22 JST, March 6, 2023
Major league star Shohei Ohtani started his return trip to Japan with a bang, blasting a pair of three-run homers in consecutive at-bats for Japan in a warmup game for the upcoming World Baseball Classic against the Hanshin Tigers on Monday at Kyocera Dome Osaka.
Batting third as the designated hitter, Ohtani struck out in his first at-bat, then belted a two-out, three-run homer over the center field fence off righthander Hiroto Saiki. He then repeated that feat, again with a blast to center, in the fifth inning off lefthander Ren Tomita.
He was taken out for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning as Japan went on to win 8-1.
The two-way star of the Los Angeles Angels was playing in his first game since returning to Japan on Wednesday. He joined up with the national team, known as Samurai Japan, on Friday, but did not appear in a warmup game against the Chunichi Dragons on Saturday.
Japan will play its opening game of the WBC on Thursday against China at Tokyo Dome.
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