HOUSTON — As part of the Angels’ six-run top of the first against the Astros on Wednesday at Minute Maid Park, Shohei Ohtani became the first starting pitcher to bat twice before throwing a pitch since at least 1900. He then displayed dominant form on the mound, carrying a perfect game into the sixth inning before Jason Castro looped a one-out single into center field.
Only one other starting pitcher in that span had multiple plate appearances in the first inning: Tom Browning on Aug. 3, 1989 (but on the bottom of the frame).
Ohtani walked against Astros right-hander Jake Odorizzi to open the game and scored on an Anthony Rendon bases-loaded free pass. In his second plate appearance of the inning, facing left-handed reliever Blake Taylor, Ohtani doubled off the left-field wall to drive in two runs.