September 6, 2018 / 3:56 AM / 14 days ago

Ohtani perfect at plate as Angels whip Rangers

EditorsNote: Fixes Barria typo in 6th graf

Just a few hours after it was recommended to Shohei Ohtani that he have Tommy John surgery, the two-way player homered twice, singled twice and led the Los Angeles Angels to a 9-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night in Arlington, Texas.

An MRI exam Wednesday morning revealed new damage to Ohtani’s ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, and the club would like the 24-year-old right-hander to have surgery that likely would keep him off a major league mound until the 2020 season.

Ohtani, who hasn’t yet decided whether he’ll have the surgery, is not affected by the injury when he hits, and Wednesday’s game was a perfect example.

He walked in the first inning, had an infield single in the third, homered to lead off the fifth, singled to lead off the seventh and hit a two-run homer in the eighth while batting third in the Angels’ lineup as the designated hitter. His home runs were Nos. 17 and 18 for the season, tied for the most by a Japanese-born rookie in the majors (Kenji Johjima in 2006).

Ohtani also scored four runs, drove in three and had a stolen base.

He went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA in 10 starts on the mound this season, but he hasn’t been the Angels’ best rookie pitcher in the starting rotation. That would be Jaime Barria, who shut out the Rangers on two hits over five innings to earn the victory and improve to 10-8 with a 3.30 ERA in 22 starts.

Barria got offensive help from more than just Ohtani, as the Angels totaled 16 hits, including two each by David Fletcher, Andrelton Simmons, Jose Fernandez and Taylor Ward. Simmons hit his 10th homer of the season.

Seven of the Angels’ hits came off Rangers starter Bartolo Colon, who gave up five runs (four earned) in four innings and fell to 7-12.

The Rangers scored two runs on a homer by Adrian Beltre (No. 10) in the sixth inning, one of six hits for Texas. Nomar Mazara added an RBI single in the eighth.

—Field Level Media

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