The Angels activated the American League Rookie of the Year from the injured list. Ohtani looked very eager to make an impact, swinging so hard at times that his helmet flew off his head.
Ohtani took a called third strike in his first at-bat, grounded out to help Los Angeles take a 3-0 lead in the third, struck out on a breaking pitch, lined out to third and drew a base on balls.
The 24-year-old two-way player isn't expected to pitch this year as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in October. But the Angels, who are under .500, are hoping he can provide a boost as their designated hitter.
Ohtani hit .285 with 22 homers and 61 RBIs in 367 plate appearances last year. He became the first player since Babe Ruth with at least 10 homers and four pitching wins in the same season. Used primarily as a designated hitter last year, Ohtani became the first player with 15 homers as a batter and 50 strikeouts as a pitcher in the same season.
He was 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA and 63 strikeouts over 51⅔ innings in 10 starts, limited by a torn right elbow ligament that required surgery. Ohtani has said he has "no regrets" about last year when he hit for the Angels until season's end, delaying reconstructive surgery and his ability to pitch again until 2020.
Before the series opener against the Tigers, the Angels also activated right-hander Cody Allen and infielder Zack Cozart, who went 1-for-4 Tuesday night, from the injured list. They designated outfielder Peter Bourjos and right-hander Chris Stratton for assignment and optioned infielder Luis Rengifo to Triple-A Salt Lake.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.