Shohei Ohtani strikes out nine in first start of season


Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani pitched less than five innings against the Houston Astros on Opening Day, but still managed to fan nine batters before his exit.

Ohtani, 27, earned AL MVP honors last season after finishing the year with a 9-2 record and 3.18 ERA on the mound, in addition to 46 home runs and 100 RBI as a batter. In the offseason, MLB passed a new rule to allow Ohtani to stay in a game as a designated hitter even if he’s removed as a pitcher.

On Thursday, Ohtani became the first player in MLB history to start a team’s opening game and be the team’s leadoff hitter.


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