Shohei Ohtani seems to love hitting at Target Field. The Angels' unique two-way player owns a .417 batting average in six career games in Minneapolis, with a home run in both 2019 and 2021. But he's never pitched in the Twins' home park.
That will change Friday, when he gets the start at Target Field.
Ohtani has started every sixth game for the Angels since Aug. 21. He has pitched every Saturday in September, but each of those starts was preceded by an off day earlier in the week; the Angels have had no off days this week, making Friday the Target Field debut for last season's Cy Young and AL Most Valuable Player Award winner.
Ohtani is a prime candidate for both awards again this year, too, with a 2.43 ERA and 196 strikeouts in 148 innings. The Angels have won his past four starts, and Ohtani has posted an 0.67 ERA and held hitters to a .179 average in those starts.
The Twins have faced Ohtani on the mound only once, in 2018 in Angels Stadium. Ohtani, then a rookie, allowed one run on three hits over 6⅓ innings, outdueling a fellow rookie, Twins righthander Fernando Romero.