The Associated Press ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani is limited to hitting these days because of an elbow injury.
He remains quite the presence for the Los Angeles Angels.
Ohtani’s two-out walk helped set up a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night in the opening game of the Freeway Series.
The Angels were down to their last strike in the ninth inning when Ohtani battled back from a 0-2 count all the way to a walk against Kenley Jansen (0-2). Ohtani then stole second and advanced to third on catcher Yasmani Grandal’s throwing error before David Fletcher hit a tying RBI single to left.
“I think it speaks to the threat Shohei is at the plate,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “[Jansen] is as good as there is at the back end of the game.”
It was Ohtani’s second stolen base of his rookie season. The two-way star has more time to practice other parts of the game while he is staying off the mound.
“I wasn’t absolutely going to go on the first pitch, but for the hitter it’s easier to steal a base earlier in the count,” Ohtani said through an interpreter.
Ian Kinsler followed with another base hit, and Fletcher scored when Yasiel Puig’s throw skipped by Grandal for a game-ending error. Blake Parker (2-1) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.
“It was a great at-bat. [Ohtani] did what he needed to do,” Kinsler said. “The report on Kenley is that he loses track of runners or concentrates a lot on the hitter. You have an opportunity to steal against him. Shohei took second. It was huge. We got in scoring position and obviously the throw got away. He got himself in scoring position and that’s what you’re supposed to do.”Speech