ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani scored a career-high 13 runs in eight major two-hit ball innings, and the AL MVP also hit base three times in the Los Angeles Angels’ 5-0 win over Kansas City. Royals on Wednesday Night.
After dropping two singles to make the first start, Ohtani (6-4) faced 16 straight Royals and 23 of the final 24 batsmen. Matching the longest start of his major league career, he allowed just one baserunner in his final seven innings – on a walk quickly erased by a double play.
With the backdrop of a rare Southern California lightning storm illuminating the sky not far from the center field in the Big A, Ohtani also took another two walks up to the plate in his latest electrifying two-way display.
One night when Ohtani hit two three-run homers and scored a career-high eight runs in an extra innings defeat, he set a new career mark for a strikeout by fanning Emmanuel Rivera on his 108th and final pitch. .
David McKinnon got his first major league hit with an RBI single in seventh for the Angels, who avoided a series sweep with their fourth win in six games overall. Luis Rengifo had an RBI double in seventh before scoring from that single to the right by McKinnon, who received his first career RBI with a sacrificial fly in two innings.
After scoring 18 runs in the last two matches at the Angel Stadium, the Royals were out for the second time in four days and the 10th time this season. Kansas City still won five out of seven.
But Ohtani has been unbeaten on the mound lately, conceding just one run in three starts in his last 20 innings. In his most recent home run two weeks ago, he played seven innings of a one-run ball and was also involved in a victory that broke the Angels’ franchise-record 14-game skid.
Whit Merifield and Andrew Benintendi scored singles in the Royals’ first two at-bats against Ohtani, but the Angels’ two-way superstar then set off every batsman until Merrifield made a one-off walk in the sixth — and Benintendi quickly fielded a double play.
Ohtani’s fastball topped 99 mph twice in the second half of his debut, while he dazzled Kansas City, receiving 34 combined strikes on swing-and-miss or call strikes.
Daniel Lynch (3-7) was not as effective for the Royals initially, but the left-hander held off the Angels until he loaded base on two walks in the fifth and an infield single. Lynch, who went after McKinnon’s sacrifice, made three hits and five walks on a career-high 104 pitches.
Mike Trout got a rest day for the Angels, making their struggling lineup certainly lacking in punch. But McKinnon emerged as the team’s impossible cleanup hitter, the first major league hit since being called up last weekend for his MLB debut.
Andrew Velazquez and Taylor Ward scored eighth-place insurance runs for Los Angeles.
ROYALS: C Salvador Perez sat out on Tuesday night after re-injuring his left thumb on a swing, but manager Mike Matheny said the team is still determining the severity of the injury after an MRI exam.
Angels: RHP Jimmy Hurget moved to a 15-day injured list with a right shoulder injury. Right-handers Elvis Peguero and Oliver Ortega came from Triple-A Salt Lake, while inconsistent rookie Reed Detters went down just six starts after throwing a no-hitter.
Royals: Zack Grinke is expected to come off the injured list starting Friday when Kansas City opens the three-game weekend series at home against Oakland. Greenke (0-4, 5.05 ERA) moved to IL three weeks ago with a strained forearm.
Angels: After a day off at home, Los Angeles opens a three-game weekend series against Seattle on Friday night. Neither team had confirmed the starter.
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