The Angels designated hitter was hitting in the third spot in the lineup in a 9-3 triumph against the Rangers on Wednesday at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. Just hours before the game, the Angels tweeted that Ohtani underwent an MRI on his right elbow and imaging revealed new damage to his ulnar collateral ligament.
UCL reconstruction surgery was the "recommended plan of care," according to the Angels.
"He's a tough kid, not only physically, but mentally," Angels manager Mike Scioscia told reporters. "He understands the game, he understands the challenges. He knows he's talented, and tonight, he was a hitter."
"He didn't think about what the future is and the decisions he's got to make for his elbow. He was out there playing baseball and hitting the ball, so it's something I think he's done his whole career when he's pitched and he's hit. So now he's going to focus on hitting, and he had a great night."
Ohtani's plan was to take care of the Rangers.
He took a walk in his first at-bat in the top of the first inning. Ohtani returned to the plate in the third inning for a single. He walked to the plate to lead off the top of the fifth frame against Rangers reliever Austin Bibens-Dirkx. Ohtani smacked Bibens-Dirkx's first offering over the right field fence for his 17th home run of the season. The solo shot traveled 361 feet and had an exit velocity of 107 mph, according to Statcast.
Ohtani's blast gave the Angels a 6-0 advantage. Adrian Beltre plated the Rangers' first duo of runs with a two-run homer in the bottom of the next inning.
Ohtani singled again in the top of the seventh inning before Andrelton Simmons knocked him home with an RBI single to give the Angels a 7-2 edge.
The Angels designated hitter returned to the plate in the top of the eighth inning. Kole Calhoun began the inning with a ground out before David Fletcher reached first base with a single. Ohtani then settled in against Rangers reliever Eddie Butler. He went up in the count 3-1 before smashing a Butler changeup to right center field, scoring Fletcher on a two-run bomb. That blast traveled 351 feet and had an exit velocity of 98 mph.
Shohei Ohtani underwent an MRI on his right elbow earlier today. The imaging revealed new damage to his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). Based on these findings, UCL reconstruction surgery is the recommended plan of care. Additional information will be provided when appropriate.— Angels (@Angels) September 5, 2018
Ohtani went 4-for-4 with four runs scored and three RBIs in the victory. The 24-year-old is hitting .287 with 18 home runs and 47 RBIs on the season.
The Angels won the series 2-1 and start a three game series against the Chicago White Sox at 8:10 p.m. on Friday at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.