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Los Angeles Angel’s Shohei Ohtani defeats the Kansas City Royals by a score of 5-0 while striking out a career-high 13 batters

Los Angeles Angel’s Shohei Ohtani defeats the Kansas City Royals by a score of 5-0 while striking out a career-high 13 batters
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Shohei Ohtani follows a rigid schedule in almost every area of his life. His meticulous planning suffered a setback before he even threw a pitch when his most recent start on the mound was postponed by 12 minutes due to a pregame ceremony honouring the 2002 World Series champion Los Angeles Angels.

Despite a relatively rocky start, the two-way superstar had another amazing night.

In Los Angeles’ 5-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday, Ohtani recorded a career-high 13 strikeouts over eight dominant innings of two-hit ball. The American League MVP also reached base three times.

Ohtani (6-4) struck out 23 of the remaining 24 batters he faced after allowing two singles to begin that delayed first inning. He matched the longest start of his major league career, but throughout his final seven innings, he only gave up one baserunner, who was reached on a walk that was swiftly erased by a double play.

Through his interpreter, Ohtani stated, “I think the biggest thing was putting up that zero in the first inning after giving up those first two hits.” “I was able to do that, and it set the tone for the game. I wanted to go as long as I could, but I wasn’t really thinking about the pitch count early in the game.”

Ohtani’s most electrifying two-way effort also included a single and two walks at the bat against the backdrop of a rare Southern California lightning storm that lit up the sky far beyond centre field at the Big A.

One night after striking two three-run home runs and driving in a career-high eight runs in a loss in extra innings, Ohtani fanned Emmanuel Rivera on his 108th and last pitch to set a personal record for strikeouts.

“He just put us on his back,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. “I thought about taking him out going into the eighth, and he was adamant: ‘No. This is mine. I’m staying.’ … What a day. What a performance by him.”

For the Angels, who escaped a series sweep with their fourth victory overall in six games, David MacKinnon got his first major league hit with an RBI single in the seventh inning. Before being brought in by MacKinnon’s single to right in the seventh inning, Luis Rengifo had an RBI double of his own. Two innings earlier, he had received his first career RBI with a sacrifice fly.

The Royals were shut out for the second time in four days and for the 10th time this season after scoring 18 runs in the previous two games at Angel Stadium. Still, Kansas City is 5 for 7 in victories.

“That was a display,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “It’s a very unique repertoire of pitches. I don’t think you’re going to find as many guys with as many weapons as what we saw today. He was throwing three different sliders, plus a cutter and a curve. When the split started going, that’s when the strikeouts really started to happen, and he’s got 100 (mph) in the tank that he hardly ever showed. … It’s going to be a tough day at the plate.”

In his last 20 innings over the course of three starts, Ohtani has been unstoppable on the mound. He pitched seven innings of one-run ball in his most recent home start two weeks ago, and he also homered in the victory that ended the Angels’ team-record 14-game losing streak.

Whit Merrifield and Andrew Benintendi each singled in the Royals’ first two at-bats against Ohtani, but he struck out every other hitter he faced after that, save for Merrifield, who drew a one-out walk in the sixth, and Benintendi, who promptly grounded into a double play.

Ohtani confused Kansas City in the second half of his start, getting a remarkable 34 total strikes on swing-and-misses or called strikes. His fastball reached speeds of 99 mph on two occasions.

Early on, the Royals’ Daniel Lynch (3-7) wasn’t as efficient, but the left-hander cleverly stopped the Angels before they could load the bases in the fifth on two walks and an infield single. After MacKinnon’s sacrifice fly, Lynch left the game after giving up three singles and five walks on a career-high 104 pitches.

The Angels’ slumping lineup was noticeably devoid of punch as Mike Trout took a recovery day. But MacKinnon, who was called up last weekend for his MLB debut, delivered as the team’s unlikely cleanup hitter, getting his first major league hit.

Although MacKinnon’s game-changing swings made him happy, he also enjoyed other elements of the game.

“I got to play the field behind Shohei and see how good he is,” MacKinnon said. “It’s crazy being here.”

ROOM FOR TRAINERS

Royals: C The team is still determining the severity of Salvador Perez’s injury after an MRI, according to Matheny, who noted that Perez missed Tuesday night’s game after reinjuring his left thumb on a swing.

Angels: RHP With a right shoulder impingement, Jimmy Herget was placed on the 15-day injury list. Right-handed pitchers Oliver Ortega and Elvis Peguero were promoted from Triple-A Salt Lake, but erratic rookie Reid Detmers was lost after only six starts following a no-hitter.

NEXT UP

Royals: Zack Greinke is anticipated to be activated from the disabled list on Friday and start the first game of Kansas City’s three-game weekend series against Oakland at home. With a strained forearm, Greinke (0-4, 5.05 ERA) was placed on the IL three weeks ago.

Angels: Los Angeles begins a three-game weekend series against Seattle on Friday night after having a day off at home. No starter had been named by either team.

Topics #Kansas City Royals #Los Angeles Angel #Shohei Ohtani

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