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Ohtani gives away bat, sticks it to Royals

The Associated Press

The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, right, slides past Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas for a three-run triple in the seventh inning on Thursday.

The Associated PressKANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani had to get a new bat for his triple that broke open the game.

Ohtani tripled with the bases loaded in a five-run seventh inning to help the streaking Los Angeles Angels beat the Kansas City Royals 7-1 on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory.

Ohtani gave one of his bats to a 6-year-old boy, Leo Guastello, who boldly asked for it before the game when the two-way rookie star from Japan was signing autographs.

“He looked really sad when he was asking me,” Ohtani said through an interpreter.

“He really wanted that bat, so I gave it to him. Hopefully he can swing the bat and become a good player someday, but I can’t be doing this all the time or I’ll run out of bats.”

Mike Trout homered for the Angels, and Ian Kinsler went deep on his first swing in his return to the lineup. Nick Tropeano (1-0) pitched shutout ball into the seventh for his first major league win since 2016.

Kole Calhoun had a two-run single in the seventh for Los Angeles, which has won eight of nine.

With two strikes, Ohtani drove a 156 kph fastball from Brandon Maurer to right-center for his first major league triple, scoring Calhoun, Andrelton Simmons and Luis Valbuena.

“The outfielders were playing in, so I knew once it got past them [it would be extra bases],” Ohtani said.

“I wasn’t sitting only on a changeup. He made that pitch really good previously, so I had that in my head. He has a really good, firm fastball, so I was ready for that, too.”

The Royals had walked Ohtani intentionally in the sixth with first base open and Simmons on second.

Ohtani is tied with Trout for the Angels’ lead with 11 RBIs — in 26 at-bats. Trout went 3 for 4 with his fifth home run and has 55 at-bats.

Kinsler led off the game with a home run for the 47th time in his career, driving a 1-0 pitch from Ian Kennedy (1-1) out to left. Kinsler missed the previous 11 games with an adductor strain.

“Looking at video, they score a ton of runs,” Kennedy said. “They’re a veteran lineup. They’re aggressive, but they’re selective in certain situations, too. You have to make your pitches. They have plenty of guys in the lineup that can hurt you with base hits, with power. Ohtani is their eighth hitter and he’s pretty good.”

Tropeano, making his first big league appearance since July 18, 2016, limited the Royals to six hits over 6⅔ scoreless innings. He had elbow surgery in August 2016 and missed last season.

Tropeano threw 88 pitches, struck out six and walked two.

“A year and a half watching all your buddies play and all I wanted to do was compete,” Tropeano said. “I just wanted to leave it all out on the field.”Speech

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