ARLINGTON, TX – – Shohei Ohtani gestured for Juan Lagares to take off from second base into wild terrain, then the two-way star just pulled away as his fast teammate continued to place third.
Lagares gave the Angels the lead in earnest with his third inning dash, Ohtani pitched six solid innings and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Texas Rangers 2-1 on Wednesday night.
Jack Mayfield went 3 for 3 while doing a home run from the No. 9 spot for the second night in a row. His sixth homer was a solo shot in the fifth which gave Ohtani the extra point he needed as the Japanese star won for the third time in four starts.
Before Ohtani’s out late in the third inning, Kolby Allard bounced a pitch past Jonah Heim, who didn’t find the ball near the safety net until sprinter Lagares touched third. The receiver’s hasty flip passed a leaping Allard as Lagares slipped under the pitcher and clapped after putting LA ahead 1-0.
âIt was a great aggressive race on his part,â Ohtani said through a performer. “I feel like he should be the MVP of the game for that.”
Ohtani has a 2.93 ERA this season. He leads the majors with 37 circuits.
âIdeally, I wish I hadn’t given up on that point in the sixth inning,â said Ohtani. âIt would have been nice to give the ball to the relievers with a two-point lead. “
Austin Warren struck out Brock Holt on runs tied for third to finish seventh, Steve Cishek threw a scoreless eighth and Raisel Iglesias got a double end game from Andy IbÃ¡Ã±ez for his 23rd save on 28 occasions.
On his previous outing to Texas in April, Ohtani made history as the first home run point guard to start on the mound since Babe Ruth 100 years ago. Now it becomes routine for the starter and the AL All-Star winner.
The left-handed slugger didn’t add to his homers tally, going from 0 to 3 with a massive right-handed flyout that excited the crowd in Ohtani’s batting final in the fifth. But the right-hander didn’t allow more than one baserunner in an inning.
Entering the game with a first-inning ERA of 8.59, Ohtani put Nathaniel Lowe in third with an out after a double and a wild throw before placing GarcÃa and Heim on flyouts to the right.
âHe didn’t have his best assets, but he competed really well,â said manager Joe Maddon. âHe has a good sense of everything. Maybe not his most dynamic performance, but very effective because he knows what he’s doing there.
Allard (2-10) allowed two runs in six innings but still lost his eighth straight start, the most in the same season for a Texas pitcher. It was the left-hander’s fewest points since the last time he hadn’t lost, a decision without a decision in mid-June.
âObviously the wild terrain has fled,â said manager Chris Woodward. ” That does not bother me. He’s obviously trying to keep the ball away from Ohtani and not give him anything to kick. I know he had a few hard knocks in a row, but he managed to raise the bar and give us a chance to win the game.
The Angels skipped Ohtani’s scheduled start on Sunday after he was hit on his pitching thumb by a foul ball in the dugout a week ago. That’s part of the reason Maddon pulled him out after 86 shots, an inning less than Ohtani had hoped.
âI thought he was a little tired,â Maddon said. âHe hadn’t pitched for a while. Just talking to him, I thought it was enough. Every game is a little different experience, but I thought tonight was the right number for Shohei.
Angels: 3B Anthony Rendon needs end-of-season right hip surgery, ending his injury year. The 2019 All-Star had been out since July 6 with right hamstring strain, his third stint on the injured list after knee and groin issues. Maddon said he was not sure how the injury had progressed from a hamstring problem to the hip.
Rangers: RHP Dane Dunning competed in the 10-day IL with a right ankle conflict. Woodward has said Dunning has been uncomfortable and the club are hopeful he will only miss a start. RHP Demarcus Evans was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock two days after the reliever was sent down.
Angels: RHP Dylan Bundy (1-8, 6.66 ERA) is in the four-game series final, making his second start since returning from a demotion to the reliever box. One of his losses was against the Rangers, but he has a solid career 3.51 ERA against Texas.
Rangers: RHP Spencer Howard (0-2, 5.72) is set for his Texas debut after the Philadelphia deal before a trade deadline that sent ace Kyle Gibson and closest Ian Kennedy to the Phillies. The 25-year-old has made seven starts in 11 appearances for Philadelphia.