Rafu Wire Service and Staff Reports

DETROIT – Shohei Ohtani threw the first complete-game shutout of his major league career in Game 1 and blasted two home runs in Game 2 as the Angels won both games of a doubleheader Thursday against the Detroit Tigers.

Shohei Ohani jumps on a 3-2 pitch in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday for his MLB-leading 36th home run. (JUN NAGATA/Rafu Shimpo)

Ohtani’s dominant display both on the mound and at the plate came after Angels general manager Perry Minasian confirmed earlier in the day that the team would not trade the two-way star this summer. He is set to become a free agent at the end of this season.

“This is a special player having a unique season with a team that has a chance to win,” Minasian told reporters in Detroit.

In Game 1’s 6-0 victory, Ohtani (9-5) allowed just one hit, striking out eight and walking three in a 111-pitch outing at Comerica Park.

The right-hander was perfect until Kerry Carpenter lined a single to center leading off the fifth inning for the Tigers. At the plate, Ohtani went hitless in five at-bats.

“I’m glad I was able to pitch until the end,” Ohtani said. “I didn’t really think much and attacked the hitters one by one.”

The clear favorite to win his second American League MVP award in three years said his fastball was good, as well as the command of his pitches.

In five seasons with the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan, Ohtani threw seven complete game shutouts.

Taylor Ward and Trey Cabbage drove in three runs apiece for the Angels, who are making a push to end their eight-year postseason drought. Ward homered twice, once in the sixth and again two innings later.

In Game 2, Ohtani clubbed a tworun homer in the second inning and a solo drive in the fourth, boosting his MLB-leading home run total to 38 as the Angels won 11-4.

Ohtani went 2-for-3 before being pulled for a pinch-hitter in the seventh. He had experienced what the team called mid-section cramping after his second home run.

“From the beginning, my plan was to finish strong this season with the Angels,” Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. “I don’t think things are really going to change mentally, but all the people talking about the trades, that’s going to be all gone. So I feel like I’m just focused on taking this team to the playoffs.”

On the Angels’ latest move of sending two of their top prospects to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for starter Lucas Giolito and reliever Reynaldo Lopez, Ohtani said, “I think this is the first time in my six years that we’ve been buyers. We’ve been sellers the last five years.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *