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MLB: Angels' Ohtani first Japanese player to hit for cycle

Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani (17), of Japan, shakes hands with third base coach Mike Gallego (86) after Ohtani hit a three-run home run off Tampa Bay Rays' Ryan Yarbrough during the first inning of a baseball game on June 13, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Shohei Ohtani became the first Japanese player in Major League Baseball history to hit for the cycle, accomplishing the rare feat in the Los Angeles Angels' 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night.

Ohtani, who started in the designated hitter spot for the Angels, singled to center off Hunter Wood in the seventh inning to complete the cycle at Tropicana Field. He went 4-for-4, the homer his second in as many games and eighth of the season.

"We were still in the middle of the game so I shifted mental gears quickly but I saw that my teammates were excited in the dugout, so that was good," Ohtani said when asked how he felt the moment he completed the cycle.

"There have been great (Japanese) players before me, and I'm glad to become the first to complete it. It gives me confidence," he said.

The 24-year-old hit an opposite-field three-run homer off Ryan Yarbrough (5-3) in the first inning to start the effort, led off the third with a double to deep left and tripled to right in the fifth. After his triple, he came around to score on a two-run homer by Albert Pujols.

It was the first time Ohtani had four hits in a game this season. Last year, he had two four-hit games.

Angels starter Tyler Skaggs (5-6) pitched five innings, giving up three runs and seven hits while striking out five in his team's third straight win.

A power outage delayed the game for 36 minutes in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Ohtani underwent reconstructive elbow surgery in October last year and will likely not pitch in 2019, but Angels manager Brad Ausmus said before the game "it's possible" he could throw off the mound before the All-Star break.

The two-way talent was activated in mid-May as a designated hitter, and on Thursday was slotted No. 3 in the lineup, right behind Mike Trout.

Trout was the last Angels player to hit for the cycle. He did it on May 21, 2013, against the Seattle Mariners.

Last year, Ohtani was named the American League Rookie of the Year, hitting .285 with 22 homers and 61 RBIs for the season, while going 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA on the mound.

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