Shohei Ohtani admits 'adjustments need to be made' after rough start

Los Angeles Angels rookie Shohei Ohtani gave up six runs in a shaky three-inning start Friday in a "B" game against the Mexican League's Tijuana Toros.

Ohtani, 23, was scheduled for 60 pitches in four innings, but he reached 64 pitches after only three. He allowed five hits, struck out six and walked one.

In three starts this spring, Ohtani has totaled 16 strikeouts but allowed 10 runs in parts of six innings.

"I felt like I made a lot of good pitches and quite a few bad ones," Ohtani said through his interpreter, according to the Orange County Register. "The good thing I got out of this outing was pitching with runners on base, out of the stretch."

Ohtani spent five seasons with the Nippon Ham Fighters before signing with the Angels as an international free agent on Dec. 10. He is trying to become the first player in nearly 100 years to play regularly as a pitcher and hitter, but he has had mixed results so far this spring.

"Adjustments need to be made with the ball and the mound and everything," Ohtani said. "That may be some of the reasons I'm getting hit."

Angels catcher Rene Rivera said he thought Ohtani "got a little lost" during his start Friday in Tempe, Arizona, but he expressed confidence that Ohtani would thrive against big league teams.

"I'll tell you something, once the lights come on, it's a different ballgame," Rivera said. "It's tough to pitch here. There are no fans. Don't get me wrong, they're [Tijuana] a good team, but they're not a big league team. The adrenaline is not there. Once the lights come on and they say, 'Play ball,' you'll see something different. More velocity, sharper pitches. It's going to be Ohtani. You have to give it time."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.