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Angels' Shohei Ohtani hits 429-foot bomb for first homer of 2019

By
Alex Butler
Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani has one home run in six games so far this season after hitting 22 long balls in 104 games during his 2018 Rookie of the Year campaign. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani has one home run in six games so far this season after hitting 22 long balls in 104 games during his 2018 Rookie of the Year campaign. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

May 14 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani smoked a pitch for a 429-foot blast on his first home run of the season during a narrow win against the Minnesota Twins.

Ohtani's two-run shot came in the third inning of the Angels' 5-4 win on Monday at Target Field in Minneapolis. The dynamic designated hitter/pitcher returned to the Angels' lineup on May 7, but had just four hits entering Monday's matchup. Ohtani is making his comeback from off-season Tommy John Surgery.

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Jorge Polanco gave the Twins an early edge, drawing first blood with a first inning two-run homer. But Mike Trout singled in Tommy La Stella in the top of the third frame, cutting the Twins' lead in half. Ohtani followed Trout's at-bat.

The Angels star went ahead 3-1 in the count against Twins starter Jose Berrios. Berrios threw in a 92.5 mph fastball on his fifth offering of the exchange. Ohtani sent it out of the ball park at 112 mph, according to Statcast. The moonshot went as high as 121 feet and had a launch angle of 31 degrees before flying over the outfield fence in 6.1 seconds.

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Albert Pujols added to the Angels' lead with an RBI single in the fifth frame. Marin Gonzalez tied the score for the Twins with a two-run shot in the bottom of the fifth inning.

La Stella brought in the go-ahead run by smacking his 10th homer of the season in the top of the sixth frame.

Ohtani is now hitting .250 with one home run and five RBIs this season. He went 2-for-3 with two RBI, two walks and a run scored in Monday's victory. Trout and Pujols each went 3-for-5 for the Angels.

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"I was seeing the ball really well the whole time, but my timing was just a little off, and the way I was making contact, the angle was a little off," Ohtani told reporters, according to MLB.com. "But I've been hitting the ball in the air recently, and I think it showed today that I'm improving."

The Twins host the Angels again at 7:40 p.m. on Tuesday in Minneapolis.

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