Baseball / MLB

Shohei Ohtani returns to Angels' lineup

AP, Kyodo

The Los Angeles Angels activated two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani from the 10-day disabled list Tuesday and used him as the designated hitter in their game against the Seattle Mariners.

Ohtani and his injured right elbow are only cleared to hit for now, but Los Angeles said he will be re-evaluated as a pitcher in three weeks.

Ohtani received stem cell therapy and a platelet-rich plasma injection to help heal the Grade 2 sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament suffered more than three weeks ago. Ohtani was cleared for a hitting program Friday and took part in two simulated games against minor league pitchers over the weekend.

“We’re going to see how many looks we can give him as a (designated hitter) and hopefully he’ll give us a lift there,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Ohtani went 0-for-4 in Los Angeles’ 4-1 loss to the Mariners.

He struck out looking twice and fouled out once against Seattle left-hander Wade LeBlanc (4-0). When he played for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan, Ohtani had hit a home run against the lefty during LeBlanc’s stint with the Seibu Lions in 2015.

In his final at-bat, Ohtani was fanned by Mariners’ closer Edwin Diaz for the last out of the game.

Scioscia said there’s no plan in terms of Ohtani’s usage, and they’ll monitor it daily.

“He’s been cleared to swing and we will see how it all goes down,” Scioscia said. “I check with my players all the time to make sure nothing is bothering them, but we don’t anticipate anything as far as him swinging the bat.”

Ohtani is hitting .280 with an .878 OPS and six homers in 118 at-bats in his rookie season. He batted sixth on Tuesday.

“I think it’s a good spot for him,” Scioscia said. “When you’re talking about Mike (Trout), Albert (Pujols), Justin (Upton) and (Andrelton) Simmons, hitting sixth behind those guys will hopefully be a good spot for him to hit, but also just trying to get him acclimated. We don’t want him to say, ‘I have to do so much,’ if he’s hitting higher in the lineup.”

Scioscia emphasized that Ohtani was not being rushed back into the lineup.

“He would not be playing here tonight if he wasn’t cleared by our medical department,” Scioscia said. “We were very comfortable that he was able to swing the bat.”

Ohtani last batted on June 4, when he entered the game as a pinch hitter and scored a tying run that put the Angels on track to a 9-6 comeback victory over the Kansas City Royals.

Angels’ general manager Billy Eppler confirmed Ohtani will not require Tommy John surgery, and said he will be re-evaluated within three weeks to determine whether he can pitch again this year.

Diamondbacks 4, Cardinals 2

In Phoenix, Paul Goldschmidt hit a three-run homer, Zack Greinke pitched effectively into the seventh inning and the Diamondbacks ended a four-game losing streak by beating St. Louis.

The Diamondbacks’ Yoshihisa Hirano completed his 26th straight scoreless outing in the win.

Hirano, who broke the Diamondbacks’ record for most consecutive scoreless games with 25 on Friday, took the mound in the seventh on two outs and the bases loaded. The reliever got his only batter to ground into a fielder’s choice to exit the jam and keep the streak going.

Indians 6, Royals 4

In Kansas City, Yan Gomes hit a sixth-inning grand slam as Cleveland rallied to beat the Royals.

The Indians lead the AL with eight grand slams. Francisco Lindor hit a grand slam Monday.

Astros 5, Rangers 3

In Arlington, Texas, Josh Reddick and Tony Kemp homered, Dallas Keuchel worked seven solid innings to win for only the second time in his last nine starts and Houston beat the Rangers.

Houston is 11-4 this season against its instate division rival, with seven consecutive road wins in the series.

Red Sox 11, Nationals 4

In Washington, Xander Bogaerts hit a three-run homer during a six-run fifth inning, J.D. Martinez and Eduardo Nunez also went deep, and Boston beat the Nationals.

Martinez drove in four and leads the majors with 26 homers and 71 RBIs. The Red Sox have won 17 of their last 19 interleague games.

Yankees 8, Braves 5

In New York, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks and Kyle Higashioka each homered and the Yankees went ahead early and hung on to beat Atlanta.

Aaron Judge had two hits and a walk, and he stole two bases for the first time in his career. Hicks also walked twice as New York drew eight free passes.

Phillies 3, Orioles 2

In Philadelphia, Zach Eflin pitched seven strong innings for his sixth straight victory and Andrew Knapp had the winning hit for the second straight game.

Rhys Hoskins had a two-run double for the Phillies, who have won 11 of 16.

Cubs 5, Tigers 3

In Chicago, Anthony Rizzo drove in his second run of the game in the seventh inning to snap a tie, Kyle Schwarber followed with a solo homer in the eighth and the Cubs rebounded from an early three-run deficit to edge Detroit for their fifth straight win.

With one out in the seventh, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist singled off reliever Daniel Stumpf (1-4). Rizzo’s slow bouncer up the middle resulted in a force of Zobrist at second, but Jose Iglesias’ throw to first was too late to double up Rizzo and Heyward scored from third to put Chicago ahead for the first time, 4-3.

Brewers 2, Twins 0

In Milwaukee, Eric Thames hit a two-run homer and three pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout as the Brewers beat Minnesota.

The Twins fell to 1-7 on their current nine-game road trip.

Blue Jays 8, Mets 6

In Toronto, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a tiebreaking two-run home run in the eighth inning and the Blue Jays rallied from a five-run deficit to beat New York.

Yangervis Solarte hit a tying three-run home run off Robert Gsellman in the seventh before Gurriel went deep off Tim Peterson (1-1) in the eighth as the Blue Jays won for the 11th time in 14 home games.

Rockies 8, Giants 1

In Denver, Antonio Senzatela pitched seven scoreless innings in his first start of the season, Nolan Arenado hit his NL-leading 22nd home run and Colorado beat San Francisco.

Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon had three hits, including his first homer since June 20. Trevor Story had an RBI triple for the Rockies, who have won five of six.

Athletics 6, Padres 2

In Oakland, Jed Lowrie hit a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double in the decisive sixth, Mark Canha added a solo homer that inning, and the Athletics rallied to beat San Diego. Chad Pinder added a solo homer in the seventh.

White Sox 12, Reds 8 (12)

In Cincinnati, Daniel Palka and Avisail Garcia each homered twice, and Yoan Moncada tripled with the bases loaded in the 12th inning as Chicago pulled off its biggest comeback of the season.

Trailing 7-2 after five innings, the White Sox pulled even in the ninth on Garcia’s solo homer off Raisel Iglesias, then pulled it out with the help of a couple of Reds errors.

Rays 9, Marlins 6 (16)

In Miami, Jake Bauers hit a tiebreaking two-out, two-run double in the 16th, ending Tampa Bay’s 13-inning scoreless streak and lifting the Rays over Miami.

The Rays won for the ninth time in 11 games and improved to 17-21 in one-run games. No major league team has played more.

Dodgers 8, Pirates 3

In Los Angeles, Clayton Kershaw earned his first win in 2½ months, five Dodgers homered including Max Muncy with a pair, and Los Angeles beat Pittsburgh.

Ivan Nova (4-6) became the first pitcher in Pirates history to give up five homers in a game. Pittsburgh has been outscored 25-4 in the first two games of the series.

The Dodgers have 11 homers three days into July and 122 so far this season after slugging a major league-leading and franchise-record 55 in June.