Shohei Ohtani returned to the Los Angeles Angels camp Friday, throwing 4-2/3 innings against Arizona Diamondbacks minor leaguers in preparation for Opening Day.
The two-way star, fresh off leading Japan to the World Baseball Classic title, struck out eight and allowed one run on four hits with a walk in an 81-pitch outing on a practice field in Tempe, Arizona.
Ohtani is scheduled to pitch the Angels' season opener Thursday against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum.
"Today was about getting to my pitch count, getting used to the pitch clock again, the PitchCom and my offspeed pitches," Ohtani said.
On his return to the Angels' camp from the WBC, Ohtani said, "When I saw the faces of my teammates for the first time in a while, I felt like I want to win a title with this team, too."
Among other Japanese players, new Boston Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida, also a WBC-winning team member, went hitless in two at-bats in a major league spring training game against the Atlanta Braves in Fort Myers, Florida. The Red Sox won 9-8.