New York – Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani recorded just two outs on the mound Wednesday in an 11-8 win over the New York Yankees, allowing seven runs in a poor start on a steamy 33-degree Celsius night in the Bronx.
Ohtani, who hit leadoff as the starting pitcher, entered the game leading MLB in home runs with 28, and was the first starting pitcher to hit in the first five spots in the batting order at Yankee Stadium since Babe Ruth in 1933.
The 26-year-old Japanese had already put on an offensive show in the first two games of a four-game series, but his debut on the Yankee Stadium mound did not last long. He faced just nine batters, walking four, giving up two hits and hitting one in a 41-pitch outing.
It was the first time this season Ohtani failed to complete four innings, and his ERA rose from 2.58 to 3.60.
“I wish I could’ve pitched better but there’s always going to be a tough game like this one in a long season. What’s important is how I put it behind me. There will be many more opportunities,” Ohtani said.
“It was really hot but I’m not making any excuses,” he said.
Ohtani flied out in his first and only at-bat, but the Angels took a 2-0 first-inning lead against Yankees starter Domingo German.
Ohtani traded his batting gloves for a pitcher’s glove in the bottom of the first and went on to walk the first three hitters he faced.
Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres followed with RBI singles to tie the game before Rougned Odor struck out to give Ohtani his first out. Miguel Andujar’s groundout to third brought in a run that made it a 3-2 Yankees lead.
Ohtani walked Brett Gardner with the bases loaded before getting pulled. He was charged with three more runs when DJ LeMahieu greeted reliever Aaron Slegers with a bases-clearing double.
But six hours and multiple weather delays later, the Angels picked him up when Jared Walsh hit a grand slam off of Aroldis Chapman to tie the game 8-8, part of a seven-run ninth-inning rally. Luis Rengifo then delivered a two-run single to put the Angels ahead.
Closer Raisel Iglesias worked the bottom of the ninth to secure the victory, which ended at 1:06 a.m. local time.
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