Ohtani hits home run from his knee in return to Team Japan

MLB -- Mar 07

On Monday evening inside a packed Kyocera Dome, as Japan took on the Hanshin Tigers in its first exhibition game before the 2023 World Baseball Classic begins, Ohtani finally put on Japan's iconic white pinstriped jersey again.

After striking out in his first at-bat, Ohtani came to the plate in the top of the third against the Tigers' Hiroto Saiki. This time, he did not miss. Even though he had to go down to his left knee, the two-way star lifted the ball high over the center-field wall for a three-run home run.

"As my physical condition isn't 100% because of jetlag, I feel a bit worried about missing a pitch over the plate," Ohtani said. "Still, I was able to get a good swing on a split." ...continue reading