Shohei Ohtani throws first complete game, then hits two homers in doubleheader sweep

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Shohei Ohtani talks about his complete-game shutout vs. Tigers

Angels star Shohei Ohtani talks about his complete game, one-hit shutout in the Angels’ 6-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.

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Within a 24-hour period the Angels declared they wouldn’t trade Shohei Ohtani, then their two-way star threw the first complete game of his MLB career before hitting two home runs in a doubleheader sweep against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on Thursday.

In the Angels’ 6-0 win in Game 1, Ohtani took a perfect game into the fifth inning en route to complete game, one-hit shutout in a 6-0 win. He then hit his 37th and 38th home runs of the season in an 11-4 win in the second game.

It almost seemed too easy a day for Ohtani, who dominated the Tigers all afternoon. But the excitement over his heroics dampened slightly when he started grabbing at his side and lower back while running the bases after hitting his second home run. He was pulled before his at-bat in the sixth inning for what the team initially called cramping. Michael Stefanic pinch-hit for Ohtani with the Angels leading by six runs.


The Angels refused to trade Shohei Ohtani, instead acquiring talent they hope can fuel a deep playoff run as they push to re-sign the two-way star.

July 27, 2023

The team said after the game that Ohtani is fine and they’re expecting him back at designated hitter Friday against Toronto.

“He just cramped up. I mean really a lot of volume today for him,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “As I’ve said many times, certainly something I’ve never seen. I’m not sure at any level what he did in the first game, obviously with the complete game, and then two home runs in the second game but important two wins for us.”

Ohtani pitched into the ninth inning for the first time in his MLB career. He had pitched eight innings five times before Thursday. The last time Ohtani had pitched more than eight innings in a game was when he was still playing professionally in Japan, his last start for the Nippon-Ham Fighters on Oct. 4, 2017, which was also a shutout.

“I think it was good for the team and good for me personally as well,” Ohtani said in Japanese after the first game. “I didn’t really think much and attacked the hitters one by one. I’m glad I was able to pitch until the end.”

The strength he demonstrated was one he had not fully displayed in his last few starts. He explained what was different Thursday.

“My finger was in good shape. I moved well,” Ohtani said. “Just because I had a good game today, doesn’t mean I’ll be able to hold the opponent in the next game. What happens from here on out is important, so I’d like to turn the page and do my best.

“My command early was good. The defense also helped by turning difficult double plays.”

The Angels took Shohei Ohtani off the trade market and acquired two key pitchers, doubling down on their commitment to make a playoff run.

July 27, 2023

His two-homer effort in Game 2 was the 16th multihomer game of his career. According to, he is the second player since 1900 to throw a complete game, one-hit shutout and homer twice on the same day (Rick Wise first achieved the feat on June 23, 1971).


Tigers designated hitter Kerry Carpenter broke up Ohtani’s shot at perfection with a single in the fifth inning. Minus that hit and the three batters he walked in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, Ohtani dominated the lowly Tigers.

“I feel like he went to another gear today,” Nevin said. “I kind of gave him a look after the eighth and he just told me ‘I’m finishing [this game].’”

Also joining in the home-run party was Taylor Ward, who hit two in the first game. Eduardo Escobar and Hunter Renfroe hit solo shots in the second game.

Columnist Dylan Hernández contributed to this report.