Angels’ Shohei Ohtani a 1-man highlight show in loss to Astros

1620792831 Angels Shohei Ohtani a 1 man highlight show in loss to
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Shohei Ohtani did everything he could Tuesday night.

He gave up one run in seven innings. He had 10 strikeouts with only one walk. He had a hit at the plate. And he even played in right field, a move that allowed him to get one more at-bat in the ninth inning.

It didn’t matter in the end.

The Angels’ offense was neutralized by Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. Their bullpen imploded in a four-run eighth. And what had been a close game for most of the night finished as a 5-1 defeat at Minute Maid Park.

Ohtani’s command

Highlights from the Angels’ 5-1 loss to the Houston Astros on Tuesday.

In his first four starts, consistent command had been the one key element Ohtani was missing on the mound.

On Tuesday night, he found it. And it led to one of his best outings in the majors.

Ohtani gave up only one run, four hits and — perhaps most importantly — one walk. His 10 strikeouts were the third most of his MLB career. And his only blemish was a fifth-inning home run that Kyle Tucker launched to left-center.

Other than that, Angels manager Joe Maddon said, “he looked spectacular.”

Hitting and pitching for the third time this season, Ohtani went one for four with a single in the seventh inning, one of only two Angels who recorded a hit against McCullers.

Shorthanded ’pen

The Angels didn’t have closer Raisel Iglesias, set-up man Mike Mayers or left-handed leverage arm Tony Watson available. Instead, they turned to Aaron Slegers and Alex Claudio with the game tied in the eighth inning.

Slegers gave up a walk and a single. Claudio surrendered a go-ahead single and a three-run home run to Yuli Gurriel, putting the game out of reach.

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