MLB: Shohei Ohtani’s fenway debut a hit with 11 Ks, RBI in 8-0 win

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Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels plays during the first inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox May 5, 2022 in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

BOSTON (AP) — Shohei Ohtani left her mark on Fenway Park with the best two-way performance since Babe Ruth herself.

Ohtani, who was fielding for the first time at the historic ballpark, batted 11 in seven shutout innings and added two hits — one of them a 109-mile line drive that rebounded the Green Monster so hard it took his No. 17 out the race threw pitcher’s slot on the manual scoreboard.

“I hope you don’t take this for granted. Like it’s old hat,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said of Ohtani’s abilities. “It’s just so unusual. It’s otherworldly at this level of this game.”

The show took place during Los Angeles’ 8-0 win over Boston on Thursday, which included a five-run eighth inning at the ballpark where Ruth debuted in 1914 and played six seasons before the Red Sox traded him to the Yankees.

In the fourth, Ohtani hit a 389-foot single about a foot from a home run. In game eight, he hit left fieldwall to drive in a run and then scored as the Angels turned a 2-0 game into a blowout.

Ohtani (3-2) also conceded 29 swings and misses from Boston batters — a career high and most for any pitcher that year. He threw 81 of his 99 pitches for strikes, also a career high.

“It’s one of my favorite stadiums,” said Ohtani, who has hit .302 with two homers in 10 games at Fenway. “I was looking forward to pitching here.”

Ohtani’s start was delayed two days due to groin strain and came about 14 hours after the Angels scored six goals in the 10th inning to beat the Red Sox 10-5. As the designated batsman in that competition, Ohtani went in the ninth and in the tenth and scored.

“To be honest, I was pretty tired,” he said. “My body was pretty tired. I tried to fall asleep as early as possible and get enough sleep and rest. I think I succeeded.”

Jared Walsh had four RBIs and bowled a two-run homer around the foul pole in left field in the seventh to break a goalless tie. Anthony Rendon followed with an RBI single to chase Tanner Houck (2-2) and Walsh added a two-run dribble through the displaced infield to make it 7-0.

Houck gave up seven runs on five hits and one walk and hit four in 2 1/3 innings.

Brandon Marsh added a solo homer in the ninth.

Ohtani allowed a total of six hits and no walks. He also threw a wild pitch that allowed Rafael Devers to reach base with a strikeout in the first.

Ohtani surrendered a leadoff double to Jackie Bradley Jr. in the fifth. In the sixth, JD Martinez doubled with an out but was stranded when Andrew Velazquez made a diving catch from Franchy Cordero’s blooper to end the inning.

STORY

Ohtani was the first Fenway pitcher to bat in the top four since Ruth, the Red Sox’s cleanup hitter in the first game of a doubleheader on September 20, 1919.

In the fourth inning, Ohtani matched another Red Sox Hall of Famer by becoming the first starting pitcher to record a hit at Fenway since Roger Clemens in 1996. Ohtani and Clemens are the only starting pitchers to record hits at Fenway in the designated hitter era.

FOR STARTERS

Rich Hill threw five shutout innings for Boston, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out six. He remains winless for the season despite conceding zero runs across 13 innings in his last three starts.

Hill retired the first nine batters in order and then led Taylor Ward to lead the fourth. With two outs, Ohtani put a high ball into midfield that Bradley lost in the sun and wind. It bounced off the wall adjacent to the Red Sox’s bullpen. Ward, who had to wait, rushed to third place, but Ohtani was pinned to a single.

TRAINING ROOM

Ohtani fouled a ball from the inside of his right ankle in the seventh but stayed in play.

NEXT

Angels: Return home to open a three-game series on Friday against the Washington Nationals, who will field RHP Joan Adon (1-4). Maddon said Thursday he was not ready to announce a starter.

Red Sox: Host the Chicago White Sox in the opener of a three-game series on Friday. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-0) starts against RHP Vince Velasquez (1-2).

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