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Ohtani's First HR for Dodgers Leads to 3-Game Sweep Over Giants
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By Associated Press
Published 3 months ago on
April 4, 2024

Shohei Ohtani hit his first home run for the Los Angeles Dodgers, a solo drive in the seventh inning in a 5-4 win over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night that finished a three-game sweep. (GV Wire)

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LOS ANGELES — Shohei Ohtani hit his first home run for the Los Angeles Dodgers, a solo drive in the seventh inning in a 5-4 win over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night that finished a three-game sweep.

Playing his ninth game for his new team, Ohtani pulled a 93.2 mph sinker from left-hander Taylor Rogers on the upper, outer portion of the strike zone into the right-center field pavilion. The ball left his bat at 105.6 mph and landed 430 feet from the plate, where it was picked up by a fan.

“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.”

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.

“I got myself into a fastball count there and then figured I’d try to do the same thing I did yesterday,” said Rogers, who got Ohtani to ground out on a nearly identical pitch in Tuesday’s game. “… That was my plan. Throw it over there and see if he’ll do the same thing as yesterday.”

Ohtani’s Home Run Puts Dodgers Ahead

Ohtani’s home run, the 172nd of his major league career, put the Dodgers ahead 5-3. The two-way star is limited to hitting this year following elbow surgery in September and entered in a 3-for-20 slide. He also singled and scored in the second inning, and he is hitting .270 with four RBIs.

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.”

Tyler Glasnow (2-0) retired 15 of his first 18 batters before faltering in the sixth. He gave up three runs and four hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.

Joe Kelly pitched the seventh and Daniel Hudson the eighth before Dinelson Lamet finished the five-hitter by striking out two in a perfect ninth for his first professional save.

Miguel Rojas also homered and drove in two runs for the Dodgers, who won their fourth straight game and improved to 7-2. The Dodgers have scored at least five runs in all nine games to start the season, the first time they’ve done that in franchise history.

“Even right now with some guys that are kind of scuffling and trying to find their way with their swing, we’re still putting up five runs a game,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I think it’s big for our starting pitching and it’s big just for morale knowing that we can score early, we can score late, and we’ve seen some good arms and we’re still finding ways to put up some crooked numbers, which is huge.”

Jorge Soler and Patrick Bailey hit solo home runs for the Giants, who have lost four straight and dropped to 2-5. San Francisco has dropped 14 of its last 19 against the Dodgers.

Kyle Harrison (1-1) gave up four runs, six hits and three walks in five innings.

After Bailey’s home run tied it in the third, Will Smith hit an RBI double in the bottom half and scored on Teoscar Hernández’s single for a 3-1 lead.

Trainer’s Room

Giants: LHP Blake Snell threw 77 pitches in a simulated game. Snell, who is building his arm strength after signing with the Giants late in spring training, is scheduled to make his first start Monday against Washington.

Dodgers: OF Jason Heyward was placed on the 10-day injured list with lower back tightness, a move retroactive to Saturday.

Up Next

Giants: RHP Jordan Hicks (1-0) will start against the San Diego Padres and RHP Dylan Cease (0-1) in the Giants’ home opener on Friday.

Dodgers: RHP Bobby Miller (1-0) will start the opener of a three-game series at the Chicago Cubs on Friday.

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