Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani stands on deck in the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas on Sept. 22. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

RAFU WIRE SERVICES

Shohei Ohtani extended his hitting streak to eight games with a pinch-hit double in the Los Angeles Angels’ 5-3 loss to the Texas Rangers on Thursday.

With the Angels trailing by two runs with one out and no one on base in the ninth inning, the two-way star lined a double down the right-field line on the first pitch he saw from Jose Leclerc at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

The Rangers reliever struck out the next batters, Luis Rengifo and Mike Trout, to end the game for his seventh save.

Ohtani was out of the starting lineup a day before his scheduled pitching start against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field, where he will look for his 14th win of the season.

The Angels blew an early 3-0 lead when Aaron Loup allowed two runners he inherited from Michael Lorenzen in the sixth to score to tie the game at 3.

Two innings later, Corey Seager hit a two-run homer off Jose Quijada (0-5). Matt Moore (5-2) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win.

Los Angeles Angels catcher Kurt Suzuki, left, tags out Texas Rangers’ Nathaniel Lowe (30), who was trying to score on a Jonah Heim single as umpire Doug Eddings looks on in the sixth inning in Arlington, Texas on Sept. 22. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

In San Diego, Lars Nootbaar provided St. Louis’ first run in four games with a solo homer, and then rookie Brendan Donovan gave the NL Central leaders an even bigger lift.

Donovan hit his first career grand slam slam in the seventh inning to lead Albert Pujols and the Cardinals to a 5-4 victory against the San Diego Padres on Thursday, snapping a three-game losing streak.

Pujols was among the first teammates to greet Donovan in the dugout.

“It was one of the bigger swings I’ve had this year so that was cool for me,” Donovan said.

Pujols remained at 698 career homers, although he did drive two balls to deep left field, one for a single and one for an out on the warning track. The next stop in his pursuit

of the 700-homer club is Dodger Stadium, where the Cardinals open a three-game series on Friday.

The Cardinals, who had been shut out in their previous three games, got on the board when Nootbaar led off the fifth with a drive to right against Joe Musgrove for his 13th homer.

That ended a scoreless streak of 31-2/3 innings by Padres starters, five outs shy of the club record.

“We know we have a great team and a great offense that’s going to turn at any point,” Donovan said. “It was just a matter of who was going to do it. I’m pumped for Lars. That’s a big swing.”

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