LEADING OFF: Ohtani swings hot HR bat, icy at Target Field

LEADING OFF: Ohtani swings hot HR bat, icy at Target Field
CORRECTS TO SECOND INNING, INSTEAD OF THIRD - Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani, right, watches his solo home run during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, April 6, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

A look at what’s happening all around baseball Saturday:



Shohei Ohtani could aim to hit a home run in his fourth straight game, if he’s in the lineup when the Los Angeles Angels host Oakland. The two-way star from Japan is scheduled to make his second major league start on Sunday vs. the Athletics — he pitched against them last weekend and earned a win.

Ohtani homered again Friday night, launching a shot estimated at nearly 450 feet. The 23-year-old connected his first time up, batting eighth as the designated hitter.


In a season already full of frigid weather, the gametime temperature at Target Field was supposed to be around 26 degrees when Minnesota hosted Seattle. And the forecast called for snow on Sunday.

The coldest record temperature for the first pitch of a major league game was 23 degrees in 2013 when Atlanta played at Colorado. Those same teams met Friday at Coors Field and, after a one-hour delay because of snow and sleet, it was 27 degrees at the start.

Ozzie Albies, who’s from Curacao, homered for Atlanta in an 8-3 win.

“It was my first time seeing snow. I was excited,” he said. “I was acting like a little kid out there. I put the barrel on the ball. That was awesome.”


The injury-plagued Yankees will see how CC Sabathia is feeling, a day after he was pulled from a start because of soreness in his right hip. The big lefty was taken out after 58 pitches and four innings against Baltimore. The 37-year-old Sabathia had surgery on his right knee after the 2016 season and still wears a brace.


The Nationals have lost three in a row, including losses by aces Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, and have been outscored by a combined 28-9 during the slide. Gio Gonzalez and the NL East champs will try to break the skid when they host Steven Matz and the Mets.

Washington, which opened 4-0, was off Friday. That was fine by rookie manager Dave Martinez.

“Last three games, not so good. First four games, really good,” Martinez said. “They get a day off, they get refreshed, and then there’s a whole lot more baseball left.”


Mike Napoli hit a grand slam in his first game of the season, playing for Triple-A Columbus on Friday. At 36, the slugger rejoined Cleveland in spring training, signing as a free agent. The Indians like his positive influence on the Indians’ young players and, maybe, might provide a power bat in the majors later this year.