Sports

Ohtani emerges from his batting slump and pulls off a unique feat in the Dodgers’ 5-3 victory over the Brewers.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Any thoughts about Shohei Ohtani entering a prolonged batting slump can be put to rest.

The Los Angeles Dodgers superstar had a day at the plate on Saturday that has happened only three times since 1909.

The Japanese slugger went 2 for 2 with two RBIs in the Dodgers 5-3 win over the Brewers.

That seems pedestrian until seeing that Ohtani had a home run, triple, two walks, was hit by a pitch and a stolen base in five plate appearances.

According to MLB, Ohtani is the third player with a home run, triple, walk, hit by pitch and stolen base in a game.

The last player to do it was the Brewers’ Christian Yelich on June 1, 2019, against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The first was Bert Daniels of the New York Highlanders against the Chicago White Sox on July 8, 1910.

“I felt like he was going to be able to reset himself,” manager Dave Roberts said. “He took a couple walks, got the ball up in the zone and he was back to being Shohei.”

Ohtani raised his batting average to .316, tied with San Diego’s Jurickson Profar atop the NL and tied for third in the majors.

Before Saturday, the last Dodger with a triple, walk, hit by pitch and stolen base in a game was Jackie Robinson on July 16, 1953, against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Ohtani struck out in six straight at-bats Thursday and Friday, and was 1 for 12 in his last three games coming into Saturday. He was 0 for 5 on Friday on his 30th 𝐛𝐢𝐫𝐭𝐡day.

Before Saturday’s game, Roberts said Ohtani was being too aggressive chasing the ball low and out of the strike zone, but thought that facing Milwaukee starter Freddy Peralta might help because the right-hander liked to elevate his fastball.

“He’s had stretches of two, three or four games where he does that, and then resets,” Roberts said.

Roberts’ pregame prediction ended up becoming reality.

In his first three plate appearances, Ohtani walked twice and was hit by a pitch. In the sixth inning, Ohtani got an inside and elevated cutter from Bryse Wilson that he drove off the wall in right-center for his third triple of the season.

Two innings later, Ohtani drove a low cutter from Bryan Hudson 430 feet into the center field stands for a solo shot to put the Dodgers up by two runs.

It was Ohtani’s 28th homer of the season, which leads the NL and is second in the majors behind the Yankees’ Aaron Judge (32).

It is the third time since coming to the majors in 2018 that Ohtani has at least 28 homers before the All-Star Game. His most was 33 in 2021 and he had 32 last season.

The home run was also Ohtani’s 500th career run scored on the majors. He is also one homer away from 200 in his big league career.

His stolen base in the second inning was his 18th of the season, which is eighth in the NL.

“Hitting is very difficult certainly when you’re Shohei and guys are going to bring their best when they face him,” Roberts said. “I think for him just simplifying where he is good in the strike zone, then the natural ability takes over. I’ve never seen anything like it recently.”

It’s not the first time Ohtani has put together a box score line that is rarely seen. He did it on the mound on April 20, 2021.

Pitching for the Los Angeles Angels, Ohtani became the first starting pitcher since at least 1901 to toss four shutout innings with at least six walks and seven strikeouts. He allowed only one hit in the Angels’ 6-2 win over the Texas Rangers.

According to Sportradar, Ohtani joined Colorado right-hander Tyler Chatwood (2017) and Bill Bailey of the 1914 Baltimore Terrapins as the only starting pitchers to go five innings or fewer and allow no runs on one hit with at least six walks and seven strikeouts.

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