Ohtani bounces back with 2 hits after 3-K game

Two-way star singles in first at-bat and again in ninth inning

April 21st, 2018

ANAHEIM -- It didn't take long to turn the page on his first hitless start as the Angels' designated hitter.
After going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts on Thursday, Ohtani singled twice to produce two of the Angels' five hits in their 8-1 loss to the Giants on Friday night at Angel Stadium.
"There wasn't much difference [in my approach] compared to [Thursday], but I feel that I was able to match up with each pitcher," Ohtani said. "Even the at-bats where I was out, it's pretty clear why I was out, and I hope that I can use that to improve myself."
Batting sixth, Ohtani took his first at-bat against right-hander Jeff Samardzija with two outs in the second inning. Ohtani fouled off a first-pitch fastball before Samardzija came back with another fastball up and in, which forced Ohtani off the plate. Ohtani then ripped an inside fastball down the first-base line that barely went foul. On the fourth pitch of the at-bat, Ohtani lined a knucklecurve to center field for the Angels' first hit of the night.
"I figured he would not come back in," Ohtani said. "He threw a curveball over the plate, and I hit it to center."
Ohtani flied out to left field in his next two at-bats, but he collected a leadoff single on a first-pitch fastball from left-handed reliever Josh Osich in the ninth to finish 2-for-4. He is now batting .342 with three home runs and 11 RBIs as a left-handed hitter this season.
Ohtani departed his last start against the Red Sox on Tuesday with a blister on his right hand, but he threw a light bullpen session without issue on Friday.
"I feel that [my blister] is recovering," Ohtani said. "I'm hoping to be able to pitch well in a game by taking care of it on a daily basis."
Ohtani is expected to throw a normal bullpen on Sunday, setting him up to pitch on Tuesday in Houston, though the Angels have not made an official announcement yet. Ohtani said that he believes he'll be able to take his next turn in the rotation as scheduled.
"Especially because I was able to throw today," Ohtani said. "I feel pretty good about it."