Shohei Ohtani dominates, striking out 11 in Angels’ shutout over Red Sox
Shohei Ohtani left his mark on Fenway Park with the finest two-way performance since Babe Ruth himself.
Pitching at the historic ballpark for the first time, Ohtani struck out 11 in seven shutout innings and added two hits — one of them a 109 mph line drive that banged off the Green Monster so hard that it knocked his No. 17 out of the pitcher’s slot on the manual scoreboard.
“I hope you don’t start taking that for granted. Like it’s old hat,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said of Ohtani’s skills. “It’s just so unusual. It’s otherworldly, on this level of this game.”
The display came during Los Angeles’ 8-0 win over Boston Thursday that included a five-run eighth inning in the ballpark where Ruth debuted in 1914 and played six seasons before the Red Sox sold him to the Yankees.
In the fourth, Ohtani hit a 389-foot single that was about a foot shy of being a home run. In the eighth, he singled off the left-field wall to drive in one run, then scored as the Angels turned a 2-0 game into a blowout.
Angels outfielder Taylor Ward has had a breakout season on offense, thanks in part to tips he received from Trent Woodward, a former teammate at Fresno State.
Ohtani (3-2) also induced 29 swings and misses from Boston batters — a career high, and the most for any pitcher this year. He threw 81 of his 99 pitches for strikes, also a career high.
“It’s one of my favorite ballparks,” said Ohtani, who has batted .302 with two homers in 10 games at Fenway. “I was looking forward to pitching here.”
Ohtani’s start was pushed back two days because of groin tightness and came about 14 hours after the Angels scored six times in the 10th inning to beat the Red Sox 10-5. As the designated hitter in that contest, Ohtani walked in the ninth and walked and scored in the 10th.
“To be honest, I was pretty fatigued,” he said. “My body was pretty tired. I tried to get to sleep as early as possible and get enough sleep and rest. I think I was able to do that.”
Jared Walsh had four RBIs, curling a two-run homer around the left-field foul pole in the seventh to break a scoreless tie. Anthony Rendon followed with an RBI single to chase Tanner Houck (2-2), and Walsh added a two-run dribbler through the shifted infield to make it 7-0.
Houck gave up seven runs on five hits and a walk, striking out four in 2 1/3 innings.
Brandon Marsh added a solo homer in the ninth.
Ohtani allowed six hits and no walks in all. He also threw a wild pitch that allowed Rafael Devers to reach base on a strikeout in the first.
Ohtani gave up a leadoff double to Jackie Bradley Jr. in the fifth. In the sixth, J.D. Martinez doubled with one out but was stranded when Andrew Velazquez made a diving catch of Franchy Cordero’s blooper to end the inning.
Angels: Return home to open a three-game series Friday against the Washington Nationals, who will pitch RHP Joan Adon (1-4).
Red Sox: Host the Chicago White Sox in the Friday’s opener of a three-game series. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-0) will start against RHP Vince Velasquez (1-2).
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