Dodgers Team News

Shohei Ohtani’s First Home Run As a Dodger Comes in First Spring Training Game

That didn’t take long.

Shohei Ohtani hit a two-run home run in his third at-bat of Tuesday’s Cactus League game against the Chicago White Sox. The opposite-field blast came in the fifth inning, and brought the Dodgers to within 4-3.

Ohtani circled the bases, greeted teammate Freddie Freeman at home plate, then jogged down the left-field line, his day over.

The home run came on the sixth pitch of Ohtani’s at-bat against White Sox right-hander Dominic Leone — briefly Ohtani’s former teammate in Anaheim.

After going 0-for-2 to begin the game with a strikeout and double-play groundout, one swing was all Ohtani needed to convince the sold-out crowd his elbow was just fine.

Ohtani did not play in any of the Dodgers’ first five exhibition games while he recuperated from elbow surgery that prematurely ended his 2023 season with the Angels.

Ohtani signed a 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers in December, kicking off the most anticipated free agent signing in franchise history.

The anticipation was finally resolved Tuesday — but it wasn’t until the fifth inning that fans got what they came to see.

Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

JP Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra writes and edits Major League Baseball content for and is the author of 'The 50 Greatest Dodger Games Of All Time.' He once recorded a keyboard solo on the same album as two of the original Doors. Follow at

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