Shohei Ohtani makes his Cactus League Debut. Everyone held their breath. He struck out the first batter. So far so good. The next doubled down the line that bounced over the bag. Luck more than anything. He struck out the next batter. A walk to the one after. But he calmed himself and struck out Moreland to end the inning! Struck out the side.
The second inning was not as good. He allowed a single to left that turned into a double thanks to Upton. He did strikeout the next batter. But then he allowed an actual double to right. A walk later and it was 2 on 1 out for Ohtani. After an intense battle, he got the next batter out but he pitched 41 pitches and was pulled.
Shohei Ohtani ended with 1 and 2/3 innings, allowing 3 doubles, 2 walks, 1 run allowed and 5 strikeouts. He hit 100 mph on his fastball and consistently hit 98. Of the 3 hits, only one was a real hard hit double, the others could have been an out or a single. Most importantly, he was not injured and looks to pitch again.
Now, the rest of the game
The game continued on with Kyle Keller reliving Ohtani and striking out his first batter. Ohtani would not get a loss as the top of the 3rd saw Luis Rengifo hit a home run. 1-1 game going into the bottom of the 3rd. It didn’t stay tied for long as Keller allowed a home run to the first batter. He did get the rest out but the damage was done.
The start if the 4th began with Justin Upton hitting a home run! As everyone’s jaws are still dropped, Jose Iglesias hit a badly fielded ball for a triple! Bases got loaded and failed to score more. 2-2 Angels headed to the bottom of the 4th.
Patrick Sandoval did not bring confidence as after a strikeout he walked 3 straight. Then an excellent groundball double play by Jeramiah Jackson saved his bacon.
Scott Schebler impressed with a double in the 5th, then a walk by Jo Adell and Jose Rojas made it was bases loaded for the Angels with no outs. So of course Taylor Ward would mess it up by grounding out and THE A’S BOTCHED IT! Two runs score and everyone is safe! A sac fly and now it is 5-2 Angels! Sandoval had a clean 5th with 2 strikeouts and a fly out.
The Angels were not done yet, as Gosselin singled, Barreto doubled, and Schebler hit a sac fly for a 6th run for the Angels! A run that the A’s got back as Jesse Chavez gave up a double and 2 sac flies in his inning of work.
Jose Rojas got in on the action with a home run of his own in the top of the 7th. Thomas Pannone came in to shut the door and secure the win.
The Angels had 11 strikeouts in 7 innings and the offense hit 3 home runs. Great output even though Trout, Fletcher, Pujols, and Stassi going 0-7 with 5 strikeouts. It was a bunch of unexpected players such as Upton, Rengifo, Schebler, and Rojas providing offense.
Good pitching goes a long way as 3 runs is good enough with an offense like this. Sandoval got himself out of a jam, Pannone was perfect as usual, and Ohtani was impressive.
Next game tomorrow vs the Rockies, same time. Angels improve to 3-2-1 on the Spring Training season.