San Diego – Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani threw five-plus innings of one-hit ball, but was not involved in the decision as a solid pitching effort was wasted in a 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.
The Angels went ahead early at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, but Junior Guerra (2-1) turned a 1-0 lead into a 3-1 deficit when he surrendered a three-run homer to Brandon Lowe in the seventh.
Ohtani was originally scheduled to start Monday, but was scratched after getting hit by a pitch on his right elbow while serving as the designated hitter against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
On Wednesday, the 26-year-old returned to the mound for his fourth pitching start of the season, but was not in the lineup. He struck out seven and walked six, including the first two batters in the sixth before he was relieved.
Yoshitomo Tsutsugo finished 1-for-3 with a double for Tampa. He flew out against Ohtani in his first at-bat and later drew a walk and advanced on a wild pitch.
In other MLB games, Yu Darvish took a no-decision as the San Diego Padres beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 at Petco Park in San Diego. Craig Stammen (2-1) got the final out of the sixth inning to earn the win in relief.
Darvish was charged with two runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out eight in 5⅔ innings. He held the Pirates scoreless through five frames before allowing a leadoff homer to Bryan Reynolds, two more base hits and an RBI sacrifice fly in the sixth.
“My body felt heavy from the first inning,” said Darvish, who hit a batter and was pulled with two outs in the sixth. “I threw long enough considering my condition.”
“I think I’ll get five days of rest before I pitch again so I’ll take that time to think about how to improve my mechanics.”
At T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Yusei Kikuchi was saddled with the loss in a lefty-lefty matchup against the Baltimore Orioles’ John Means, who threw a no-hitter in a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
Kikuchi (1-2) allowed three runs on five hits, including two run-scoring singles in the second inning and a solo homer in the seventh, while striking out seven and walking one in seven strong innings of work.
Means (4-0) missed a perfect game by one wild pitch, allowing a runner to reach base in after striking him out.
With one out in the bottom of the third, Seattle’s Sam Haggerty swung and missed a 1-2 pitch that was low and in the dirt. The ball skipped past catcher Pedro Severino and went all the way to the backstop, allowing Haggerty to reach first base without a throw on the wild pitch.
Haggerty was thrown out attempting to steal second, so Means still ended up facing the minimum during the game.
“That was my biggest pitch today, was that fastball in,” said Means, who threw a first-pitch strike to 26 of the 27 batters he faced. “I have to be able to do that to get the changeup away working. (Catcher Pedro Severino) called a great game today. Unbelievable.”
Mean’s no-hitter was Baltimore’s first in 30 years and the club’s first by a single pitcher since Jim Palmer in 1969.
“I can’t put it into words right now; it’s unbelievable,” Means said immediately afterward on the MASN broadcast. “I don’t even know what to say to be honest with you. I felt OK all game. I didn’t really have the changeup until the end and I’m glad I got it.”
Means, who struck out 12 of the 27 batters he faced and walked none, threw the third no-hitter of the 2021 MLB season.
“I knew before the game how great the opposing pitcher is,” Kikuchi said.
“I tried to focus on my own pitching. I wanted to follow up on my last quality start, and I think I did what’s expected of me.”
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