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OC Register: Shohei Ohtani dominates on mound as Angels beat Royals

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ANAHEIM — A night after putting on a show with his bat, Shohei Ohtani did it with his arm.

This time, the Angels won.

Ohtani gave up two singles in eight innings, striking out a career-high 13, in the Angels’ 5-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night, a night after he drove in eight runs and hit a pair of homers.

His big offensive night was wasted, because the Angels came up on the short-end of a crushing 12-11, 11-inning game.

The Angels avoided a sweep at the hands of the last-place Royals on the strength of Ohtani’s brilliant pitching performance and just enough offense from the team’s unlikely No. 3 and 4 hitters.

With Mike Trout and Jared Walsh getting the night off, the Angels had Luis Rengifo hit third and David MacKinnon fourth. Rengifo had two hits, including an RBI double, and MacKinnon drove in two runs, with a single and a sacrifice fly.

The game began a few minutes later than scheduled because the ceremony to honor the 2002 Angels ran long. Perhaps the extra downtime disrupted Ohtani’s routine, because he gave up hits to the first two hitters of the game.

After that, though, Ohtani dominated, retiring 16 in a row, including 10 strikeouts. He struck out the side in the second and fourth innings.

Ohtani pitched so well that Manager Phil Nevin let him start the eighth with 96 pitches, which is rare in these days of starters rarely cracking 100 pitches.

Ohtani made it through a perfect eighth, equaling his career-high, with just 12 more pitches. He finishing with a season-high 108 pitches

Ohtani’s slider was particularly effective on Wednesday night. He threw it 43% of the time, which was his highest percentage of the season. The Royals whiffed on seven of their 12 swings at the pitch, including four strikeouts.

The Angels’ offense was fairly quiet against Royals left-hander Daniel Lynch. The game was scoreless in the fifth, when Taylor Ward and Ohtani drew walks. Rengifo then hit a slow grounder between third baseman Emmanuel Rivera and shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. Witt fielded the ball, but not in time to throw out Rengifo.

MacKinnon then lofted a fly ball into right, deep enough to drive in Ward with the game’s first run.

In the seventh, No. 9 hitter Andrew Velazquez drew a walk. Two outs later, Rengifo pulled a double down the left field line, scoring Velazquez. MacKinnon poked an opposite field single into his – his first major league hit – to drive in Rengifo.

The Angels tacked on two more runs in the eighth on an RBI single from Velazquez and an RBI double from Ward.

More to come on this story.

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