(Reuters) – Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani was impressive in his pitching debut on Sunday, conceding three runs in six innings in a 7-4 road victory over the Oakland Athletics.
The 23-year-old Japanese rookie gave up three hits, all in the second inning, the last one of which was a three-run homer by Matt Chapman, while striking out six and walking one at Oakland Coliseum.
“Personally, I feel like I’ve gotten off to a good start,” Ohtani told reporters. “Obviously, the team went 3-1 on their first road trip, so very happy with the results.”
The right-handed pitcher went on to retire 14 of the final 15 men he faced as he threw 92 pitches, with his fastball topping at 99.6 mph.
“Major League hitters hit the ball,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia told reporters. “Outside of that one stretch of three hitters in the second inning, that’s about as well as you can pitch.
“He finished strong in the fifth and sixth; he carried his stuff through 90-plus pitches.
“We expected it, but it’s good that he got to that marker. He felt good after 92, and I’m sure he had a little bit more in him.”
Ohtani, who signed with the Angels in December, had already made his Major League debut when he started in the designated hitter’s spot on Thursday’s Opening Day, going 1-for-5 in a 6-5 loss.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru