Ohtani hero again with 443-foot, pinch-hit blast
4:51 AM ET
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani‘s right knee was still sore when he arrived at Angel Stadium on Sunday. He took a baseball directly to it in the previous night’s ninth inning, on a foul ball against Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, then spent the ensuing morning receiving treatment.
In the second inning, Ohtani informed Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia that he would be available to pinch hit if needed.
In the seventh, he hit the home run that won the game.
“It was going to be hard for me to run all-out,” Ohtani said through his interpreter after a 4-3 win in the Freeway Series finale. “I was glad I was able to hit a home run so I didn’t have to run too much.”
Ohtani’s tiebreaking solo home run carried an exit velocity of 108.8 mph and traveled 443 feet, according to Statcast. It was his first since May 17 and only his third hit in 17 at-bats since returning from the disabled list.
But it was also the second time in three games that he ignited a win for his team, coming 48 hours after his two-out walk and stolen base propelled