It’s real folks.
They say Shohei Ohtani regularly wins games for the lowly Angels all by himself when he pitches, both with his arm and his bat. And though he got some help tonight from his teammates, he really didn’t need it that much. He held the Astros to one run with a suffocating fastball and darting breaking stuff while hitting in two and scoring one run by himself.
The Angels did all the damage they needed to do in the second inning scoring three runs on three hits, one an RBI bunt single by Brandon Marsh, and the killer, a two-run triple by - who else - Ohtani.
It made Astros starter Cristian Javier the losing pitcher, but it’s hard to say whether he was excellent or terrible tonight. He only lasted 3.2 innings allowing three runs on five hits and three walks. But at the same time, he struck out 10 Angels.
The Astros did manage to small-ball their way to one run against the Shohei machine in the fourth inning. Kyle Tucker worked a walk, stole second, and scored on a Yuli Gurriel single.
Ohtani went six full innings, allowed only the one run on four hits and two walks, and struck out 12 Astros. He hit 101 on the radar gun several times.
Javier’s replacement, Seth Martinez, completed the fourth and fifth innings without allowing a run. But in the sixth Martinez’s relief, Bryan Abreu, ran into big-time trouble, allowing four runs on five hits and a walk, the biggest blow a two-run single by Luis Rengifo.
Ryne Stanek blew out the fire for Abreu in the sixth, and held the Halos in the seventh, extending his scoreless inning streak to over 23. Phil Maton pitched a scoreless eighth as that was all that was needed as the visiting Astros went down meekly in the ninth, managing only four hits for the night.
The rubber match of the series goes down tomorrow at 7:07 CT. Framber Valdez matches up with Reid Detmers