Watch Angels' Shohei Ohtani Become 1st Japanese-Born Player to Hit for MLB Cycle

Megan ArmstrongCorrespondent IIJune 14, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 13: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels watches a pop fly in the third inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on June 13, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Shohei Ohtani may be limited to designated hitter this season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, but the 24-year-old made sure his impact was still felt against the Tampa Bay Rays Thursday night.  

The Los Angeles Angels DH became the first Japanese-born player in MLB history to hit for the cycle: 

MLB Stats @MLBStats

Shohei Ohtani is the first Japanese-born player in @MLB history to hit for the #cycle. https://t.co/lW1fkqzYR5

Ohtani's cycle began right away with a three-run home run—his eighth in 2019—in the top of the first inning, followed by a double in the third, triple in the fifth and single in the seventh.

Los Angeles Angels @Angels

Cycle raker, history maker. https://t.co/43Wjni6gzq

Ohtani also became the first Angel to notch a cycle since Mike Trout in 2013, according to MLB Stats.

Angels PR @LAAngelsPR

Cycles in #Angels history: Shohei Ohtani, today Mike Trout, 5/21/13 vs. SEA Chone Figgins, 9/16/06 at TEX Jeff DaVanon, 8/25/04 vs. KC Dave Winfield, 6/24/91 at KC Dan Ford, 8/10/79 vs. SEA Jim Fregosi (2): 5/20/68 vs. BOS & 7/28/64 vs. NYY

Angels PR @LAAngelsPR

Shohei Ohtani is the sixth player to hit for the cycle as a DH in MLB history and first since Jeff DaVanon (also for #Angels) on Aug. 25, 2004

Entering Thursday, Ohtani held a .256 batting average on the season. 

However, Ohtani's ability to hit for the cycle isn't surprising considering how he impressed during his 2018-19 rookie campaign.

Ohtani appeared in 104 games, posting a .285 batting average with 22 home runs and 61 RBI. Before injuring his pitching elbow, the right-hander started 10 games and tallied a 4-2 record on a 3.31 ERA. The marks were impressive enough to earn him 2018 American League Rookie of the Year honors.

Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery Oct. 1. 

The multifaceted talent's cycle Thursday night is a promising glimpse into his recovery. 

Prior to the Angels' game against the Rays, L.A. manager Brad Ausmus provided an update to MLB.com's Dawn Klemish.

"He's getting close," Ausmus said regarding Ohtani's return to pitching. "I don't know the exact date ... but I would say weeks, assuming everything goes well." 

Ausmus added that "it's possible" Ohtani begins throwing before the All-Star break.