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Ohtani helps Halos pick up sweep

The Associated Press

Rangers first baseman Joey Gallo tags out the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game.

The Associated PressARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Shohei Ohtani never saw such a quick pickoff move by Chris Martin when they were teammates in Japan.

Ohtani had an RBI single in the second inning that put the Los Angeles Angels ahead to stay, but was picked off first base in the eighth by his former teammate in a 7-2 victory Wednesday night over the Texas Rangers.

“It wasn’t like really a funny moment or anything,” Ohtani said through his interpreter. “I’ve never seen him pick off that fast with the [Hokkaido Nippon Ham] Fighters, so that surprised me, but something that I know for the next time I’m on base against him.”

Ohtani was in the lineup for the first time since homering in each of his three starts as designated hitter last week. The 23-year-old rookie two-way sensation put the Angels up 1-0 in the second with his opposite-field single and finished 1-for-3 with a walk.

The Rangers were swept in the three-game series, became the first team in the majors with 10 losses and now will be without their shortstop and No. 3 hitter.

Elvis Andrus has a broken right elbow after being hit by a pitch in the ninth inning. Andrus was clearly in pain when he dropped to the ground.

Dr. Keith Meister, the team’s physician, did initial X-rays and an examination at the stadium, and the team said those indicated the probability of a fracture. Andrus’ elbow was put in a splint and he will be examined further Thursday, the team’s first off day this season.

“Listen, you don’t replace guys like this. It’s such a huge part of the lineup and on the field defensively,” manager Jeff Banister said of Andrus, who at 29 is in his 10th season as their starting shortstop.

Kole Calhoun had three hits, including a two-run single, and scored twice as the Angels improved to 10-3 for the first time since 1982.

They are alone atop the AL West after defending World Series champion Houston lost 9-8 earlier Wednesday in Minnesota.

Jaime Barria (1-0) allowed one hit, a home run, over five innings to win his major league debut. The 21-year-old right-hander struck out three, walked three and hit a batter.

Matt Moore (0-3) gave up three runs while allowing seven hits and three walks in five innings as the Rangers lost their fourth straight game.

After Ohtani drew a leadoff walk in the eighth, Martin came on as the fourth Texas pitcher. The two played together with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters the last two seasons.

Ohtani was called out on an attempted pickoff by Martin, but umpire Bill Miller’s call was overturned on a replay challenge. Martin then got Ohtani out on another move to first.

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