Flashes of lightning filled the dark skies above Angel Stadium and the theme song for “The Natural” occasionally played on the sound system Wednesday night, providing a suitable backdrop for Shohei Ohtani, Roy Hobbs’ version of Angels, to do his job. .
Ohtani, who scored two homers and led with eight career record points – two less than the franchise record – on Tuesday night, showed the other side of his prodigious two-way skills on Wednesday, forgoing two hits in eight innings. of shutout and hitting a 13 career record to lead the Angels to a 5-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
“I mean, he just put us on his back,” said interim Angels manager Phil Nevin. “I thought about taking him out after the seventh, and was adamant that, ‘No, this is mine, I’m staying.’ What a day. What a performance from him. “
After awaiting the thrilling pre-match celebration of the 2002 World Series championship team’s 20th anniversary, Ohtani gave up the single to Whit Merrifield and Andrew Benintendi to open the game.
He hasn’t given up on anything else. The right-hander retired 16 consecutive batters from the first innning to the sixth inning before Merrifield was eliminated in the sixth. Merrifield was blown away by a double game.
Relying more on his 84.4mph slider than his 97mph four-seam fastball, Ohtani cleared the part in the second and fourth innings, two with split-finger fast balls, two with sliders, one with a curve and one with a cutter.
He finished seventh with MJ Melendez’s strikeout with a 79 mph corner and Hunter Dozier with an 89 mph splitter and concluded his exit sniffing Emmanuel Rivera with an 85 mph slider as a crowd of 34,792 spectators serenaded him. with chants “MVP”.
“I think the most important thing was putting on that zero in the first inning after giving up those two hits,” Ohtani said via an interpreter. “I was able to do that and I think it set the tone for the game.”
Of Ohtani’s 108 shots, 71 were hit. He only induced 14 swinging hits but got 32 called. He threw 46 sliders and 27 fastballs.
“A little bit of both,” said Ohtani, when asked if he was planning on throwing more balls that break or if he made any changes while playing. “Later in the game they were soft, so I threw more quick balls. At the start of the game, more fastballs were sitting, so I threw more balls that break. “
Ohtani scored a small rut on the mound between late May and early June when he gave up nine points earned and 14 wins, five of them homers, in nine innings of defeats against the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees.
But in three starts since, against the Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners and Kansas City, Ohtani has given up on one run and nine wins in 21 innings, scoring 25 and walking five.
Royals owner Daniel Lynch knocked out the Angels with two wins in four innings before collapsing in the fifth when Taylor Ward and Ohtani walked in, and Luis Rengifo pulled out a single infielder to charge the bases.
David MacKinnon, a Hartford 32nd round pick in 2017 and Angels cleanup hitter on a night when Mike Trout and Jared Walsh were out, drove a sacrifice fly on right field for his first major league RBI and a 1-0 lead.
Andrew Velazquez walked and scored from first on Rengifo’s RBI brace in the left corner of the pitch for a 2-0 lead in the seventh. MacKinnon’s RBI single on the right – his first big league success – scored 3-0. Velazquez’s single RBI and Taylor Ward’s double RBI in the eighth brought the lead to 5-0.
“It’s great to help the team and get two RBIs,” said MacKinnon, a first baseman who was called up on Saturday. “It’s crazy that I’m on the show. It’s just crazy for me. I will probably be amazed for the rest of my career to be here, because I have always dreamed of it. “
A six-man rotation of the Angels was reduced – temporarily – to four Wednesday earlier, when Reid Detmers was optioned to triple in Salt Lake just six weeks after throwing a no-hitter against Tampa Bay, a relegation that will give the 22-year-old southpaw. the possibility of regaining its shape in a less stressful environment.
Detmers, a Louisville first-round pick in 2020, went 2-1 with an ERA of 3.77 in his first six starts and launched the 10th no-hitter single in franchise history on May 10 in Anaheim. But he went 0-2 with an ERA of 5.67 on his next six starts, scoring 24, walking 13 and forgoing eight homers in 27 innings.
“It’s just a bit of a reset for him,” said Nevin. “Look, there’s some greatness in there. I said it before. It’s a learning process and I think this will do him good. “
Rescuer Jimmy Herget has been on the list of injured for 15 days due to a shoulder impingement. … The Angels
drew relievers Oliver Ortega and Elvis Peguero from triple A.