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OC Register: Shohei Ohtani allows 1 hit over 7 innings as Angels shut out Nationals

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ANAHEIM — Shohei Ohtani zipped through the Washington Nationals exactly as you might have suspected.

Even though his control was off, Ohtani gave up just one hit in seven innings in the Angels’ 2-0 victory on Tuesday night.

The rebuilding Nationals don’t have much of an offense, and the only damage they did to Ohtani came on the uncharacteristic five walks he issued.

Even with those walks, Ohtani was efficient enough in slicing through the lineup to get through his outing with 92 pitches. Ohtani had thrown 111 in six innings in his previous start, so it’s likely that Manager Phil Nevin had planned to limit his pitches this time.

Although Nevin was opening himself up to second-guessing if the Angels’ recently struggling bullpen didn’t get the final job done, José Quijada and Carlos Estévez handled the final two innings without issues.

Ohtani picked up his second victory in three starts, with an ERA of 0.47. He has pitched 19 innings, allowing six hits and striking out 24.

The only wrinkle for him has been 12 walks, five of them in his three first innings.

Ohtani was able to work around those runners, with one jam coming after CJ Abrams picked up the only hit against him. Abrams’ fourth-inning double put runners at second and third with two outs.

Ohtani got Michael Chavis on a routine grounder to escape.

Ohtani was again pitching without much margin for error. He did not throw a pitch in either of his first two starts with a lead of more than one run, and he didn’t get a two-run lead until he started the seventh inning in this one.

The Angels’ hitters couldn’t do much with 25-year-old right-hander Josiah Gray, who the Nationals acquired from the Dodgers in the 2021 deal for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner.

Gray allowed a major league-high 38 home runs last season, with a 5.02 ERA, but the Angels struggled against him.

The Angels had a chance at a big inning in the fourth, when both Taylor Ward and Mike Trout were hit by pitches and then Ohtani singled to load the bases. Anthony Rendon drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, but then Hunter Renfroe smoked a one-hopper to third baseman Jeimer Candelario for an inning-ending double play.

Logan O’Hoppe hit his team-leading fourth homer, putting the Angels up 2-0, in the sixth. The Angels had a chance to break the game open that inning, but Luis Rengifo struck out with the bases loaded.

More to come on this story.

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