Shohei Ohtani Breaks Dodgers Home Run Drought

Shohei Ohtani Breaks Dodgers Home Run Drought
Shohei Ohtani Breaks Dodgers Home Run Drought

Shohei Ohtani hit his first home run as a Dodger on Wednesday, sending the ball 430 feet with an exit velocity of 105.6 mph in the seventh inning against the Giants. The blast broke the home run seal for Ohtani, who had been held relatively quiet at the plate through his first 36 at-bats of the season.

"Honestly, very relieved that I was able to hit my first homer," Ohtani said through interpreter Will Ireton. "It's been awhile, and honestly my swing hasn't been great. So, overall very relieved."

Ohtani admitted there was a bit of anxiousness with the delayed arrival of his first homer with his new organization.

"You just never learn about a person until they go through some adversity, whether on the field, or in this case, off the field," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "I've learned that he's unflappable. He really is."

On the field, Ohtani said he's still working through his mechanics, particularly his timing.

Roberts also echoed Ohtani's comments that he's searching a bit at the plate, but added that he believes it'll all click for Ohtani once he gets off one of his trademark swings.

"It was nice to see that relief off his shoulders and his face," said Dodgers shortstop Miguel Rojas. "That guy works extremely hard to be a professional and deal with everything every single day. We ask a lot of Shohei, and for us to see him get some success, it's always important and it's always nice for us to see him feel comfortable in the clubhouse around the new guys. ... Now he can just relax and play baseball."

Before the homer in the seventh, Ohtani also showed off his speed in the third, beating out an infield single and then sprinting around the bases to score from first on a Will Smith double.

"It's really impressive," Roberts said of Ohtani's speed. "He covers a lot of ground really quickly."

After years of wowing his teammates in Anaheim, the Dodgers finally got the full Ohtani experience on Wednesday.

"Just being able to contribute in a 5-4 game, close game," Ohtani said. "Obviously it's not just me, but overall the team was able to put up good offense today. I'm very relieved and happy."

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