Shohei Ohtani's spring training pitching debut is one that he'll file under "learning curve.''

Ohtani took the mound with plenty of hype and a "B'' lineup in the field behind him in Saturday's game between the Los Angeles Angels and Milwaukee Brewers. He labored with his control and threw 31 pitches -- only 17 of them strikes -- before departing with one out in the top of the second inning and the score tied 2-2.

Ohtani, who became a star in his early 20s with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters and earned the moniker of "Japan's Babe Ruth,'' is trying to achieve a rarity with the Angels this season as a starting pitcher and part-time designated hitter. He's been followed by waves of Japanese media this spring, and a larger-than-usual crowd was in the stands at Tempe Diablo Stadium for his Cactus League debut.