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OC Register: Shohei Ohtani returns to mound in Angels intrasquad game


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ANAHEIM >> Shohei Ohtani returned to the mound after missing a few days with a stiff back and got through 15 batters over four trips to the mound. Facing a Triple-A lineup, Ohtani struck out one, walked four, hit a batter and gave up two hits.

One of the hits was a double by Jo Adell, the Angels top prospect. Adell also had a hard line out to center field.

Although Ohtani pitched the day after he had hit in an intrasquad game, Maddon said it’s not in the Angels plans to use him that way during the regular season. Ohtani normally has gotten the day off before and after he pitches.

Ohtani had walked seven of the 10 batters he faced in his first intrasquad outing last week.

“I obviously felt much better than last time, performance-wise and command-wise,” Ohtani said through his interpreter, adding that physically he also felt “felt really good.”

Manager Joe Maddon said he saw progress.

“He was a little better than the last time,” Maddon said. “A little better command. Obviously there is another level for him. I thought it was a step forward. Overall it was a better performance. I still think once we get a real game going on, with or without fans, you’ll see another level for him.”

The Angels’ everyday players faced a series of big league relievers, starting each inning with a runner at second to simulate the new extra-innings rule.

In one inning, David Fletcher tagged up and scored from second after Jordyn Adams caught a fly ball at the warning track and hit the fence.

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