Baseball / MLB

Shohei Ohtani’s eight-game hitting streak ends as Angels beat Rangers

Kyodo

Shohei Ohtani saw his hitting streak end at eight games after going 0-for-3 as the cleanup hitter during the Los Angeles Angels’ 1-0 win over the Texas Rangers.

Ohtani left teammate Mike Trout stranded three times, first when he grounded out against recently-recalled right-hander Adrian Sampson with two outs in the opening inning at Angel Stadium, leaving Trout at first base.

After Trout, batting third in the lineup, was hit by a pitch in the fourth, Ohtani fouled off five pitches and took Sampson to a full count but eventually struck out. Trout advanced to second on a wild pitch, but Sampson retired the next two batters to end the threat.

Trout drew a walk and stole second in the sixth, but Ohtani grounded out to end the inning.

On Monday Ohtani was named the American League Player of the Week for the second time. The 24-year-old rookie batted .474 with four home runs, 10 RBIs, eight runs scored and two stolen bases in five games last week.

In a bullpen game for the Angels, Noe Ramirez (5-5) fanned three in 1⅔ innings for the win, while six pitchers took a no-hitter into the eighth. Both teams allowed just two hits each.

Jose Fernandez provided the game’s only run with a second-inning solo shot off Sampson (0-1).

At Coors Field, Yoshihisa Hirano earned his first major league save for putting out a fire in the ninth inning of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 6-3 win against the Colorado Rockies.

Hirano relieved Jake Diekman in the ninth after the lefty gave up a leadoff double to Carlos Gonzalez and a bunt single to Ryan McMahon that put runners on the corners.

Hirano got back-to-back strikeouts, but McMahon advanced to second on defensive indifference. With the game on the line, Hirano got Charlie Blackmon to line out to seal the victory.

The 34-year-old reliever said he did not feel anything particularly special, however, on getting his first big league save.

“I closed out games all the time in Japan. I was prepared to do that anytime here,” said Hirano, who had 156 saves over 549 games with Nippon Professional Baseball’s Orix Buffaloes between 2006 and 2017.

The Diamondbacks ended a three-game skid and evened the four-game series at one apiece, moving within 2½ games of the National League West-leading Rockies.

In his MLB rookie season, Hirano is 4-2 with 55 strikeouts in 70 appearances. He signed a two-year, $6 million contract with the Diamondbacks last December.

At Safeco Field, San Diego Padres reliever Kazuhisa Makita was called up from the minors before their game against the Seattle Mariners. He did not take the mound in the Padres’ 2-1 win.

Makita was joined by three other players from Triple-A El Paso as the Padres look to bolster their bullpen. He was relegated to the minors for the sixth time last month.