Ohtani whiffs 11 in two-way Fenway masterpiece
7: 44 PM ET
ESPN News Services
BOSTON — Shohei Ohtani left his mark on Fenway Park with the finest two-way performance since Babe Ruth himself.
Pitching at the historic ballpark for the first time, Ohtani struck out 11 in seven shutout innings and added two hits — one of them a 109 mph line drive that banged off the Green Monster so hard that it knocked his No. 17 out of the pitcher’s slot on the manual scoreboard.
” I hope you don’t take that for granted. Joe Maddon, Angels manager, said Ohtani’s skills are “old hat”. It’s so unique. It’s extraordinary, at this level of the game. “
The display came during Los Angeles‘ 8-0 win over Boston on Thursday that included a five-run eighth inning in the ballpark where Ruth debuted in 1914 and played six seasons before the Red Sox sold him to the Yankees.
In the fourth, Ohtani hit a 389-foot single that was about a foot shy of being a home run. The Angels won 2-0 when Ohtani singled off the left field wall to score one run.
Ohtani (3-2) also induced 29 swings and misses from Boston batters — a career high, and the most for any pitcher this year. He threw 81 of his 99 pitches for strikes, also a career best. Ohtani, who is a former catcher, said that it was one of his favorite ballparks. 302 with two homers in 10 games at Fenway. “I was looking forward pitching here. “
Ohtani’s start was pushed back two days because of groin tightness and came about 14 hours after the Angels scored six times in the 10th inning to beat the Red Sox 10-5. As the designated hitter in that contest, Ohtani walked in the ninth and walked and scored in the 10th.
” “To be honest, my body was very tired,” he stated. “My body was very tired. I tried to go to bed as early as possible to get enough sleep. I believe I was able do that. “
Ohtani allowed six runs and no walks. He also threw a wild pitch that allowed Rafael Devers to reach base on a strikeout in the first.
Ohtani gave up a leadoff double to Jackie Bradley Jr. In the fifth. In the sixth, J.D. Martinez doubled with one out but was stranded when Andrew Velazquez made a diving catch of Franchy Cordero‘s blooper to end the inning.
Ohtani was the first pitcher at Fenway to bat in the top four of the order since Ruth, who was the Red Sox’s cleanup hitter in the first game of a Sept. 20, 1919, doubleheader.
In the fourth inning, Ohtani matched another Red Sox Hall of Famer by becoming the first starting pitcher to record a hit at Fenway since Roger Clemens in 1996. Clemens and Ohtani are the only two starting pitchers to have hit Fenway during the designated hitter era.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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