Shohei Ohtani receives MRI on pitching arm after Angels loss


A game that the Angels opened with another disconcerting start by Shohei Ohtani, who walked five batters in a 42-pitch second inning he was unable to complete, ended more than 4½ hours later with a 6-5 11-inning loss to the Houston Astros in Angel Stadium.

The news got even worse after the game, when the Angels revealed that Ohtani expressed that he had some discomfort in his pitching arm.

The two-way star, who underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2018 and was relegated to hitting last season, was sent out for an MRI test, the results of which were not immediately available.

Both teams scored in the 10th inning, in which each team started with a runner on second base. Angels reliever Jacob Barnes got Jose Altuve to ground back to the mound to start the 11th, but Alex Bregman stroked a run-scoring single to center for a 6-5 Astros lead.

Matt Thaiss, the Angels runner on second to start the bottom of the 11th, took third on David Fletcher’s grounder to shortstop. Houston left-hander Blake Taylor struck out Luis Rengifo swinging for the second out.

Anthony Rendon was intentionally walked, and Michael Hermosillo walked to load the bases with two outs, but Brian Goodwin flied out to center to end the 4-hour, 37-minute game.

Carlos Correa led off the 10th for the Astros with a fly ball to deep right field, where Taylor Ward made a leaping catch before crashing into the wall.

Ward appeared to forget the inning started with a runner on second base, but he would have had no chance of throwing out Kyle Tucker at third. Garrett Stubbs’ sacrifice fly to left gave Houston a 5-4 lead.

Hermosillo, whose sacrifice fly gave the Angels a walk-off win in the 10th inning Saturday night, failed on two attempts to bunt Rendon to third in the bottom of the 10th before grounding an 0-and-two pitch from Framber Valdez into center field for an RBI single and a 5-5 tie.

Hermosillo stole second before Goodwin struck out. Albert Pujols, who hit a grand slam in the third inning, was intentionally walked by reliever Andre Scrubb, and Ward walked to load the bases.

Max Stassi swung at a first pitch and popped out to first for the second out and Houston left-hander Blake Taylor struck out Thaiss looking at a 92-mph knee-high fastball to end the inning.

Ohtani allowed five earned runs, three hits and three walks without recording an out in a 30-pitch start at Oakland on July 26, the two-way star’s first mound appearance since 2018 Tommy John surgery, leaving him with an ERA of infinity.

The right-hander lowered that ERA to 45.00 with a dominant first inning Sunday, needing eight pitches to retire George Springer (strikeout), Altuve (popout to catcher) and Bregman (fly to right field).

Ohtani’s fastball was clocked at 94 mph to 96 mph in the first, and the split-fingered fastball he used to strike out Springer looked sharp. But Ohtani lost his command in the second, walking Michael Brantley, Yuli Gurriel and Josh Reddick to open the inning.

He nearly escaped the bases-loaded, no-outs jam by striking out Tucker with a split-fingered fastball and Jack Mayfield looking at a 96-mph fastball.

But a full-count fastball to No. 9 hitter Dustin Garneau that appeared to catch the inside corner was called a ball by home-plate umpire Alfonso Marquez, the walk forcing in Brantley with the first run.

Ohtani was clearly gassed when he walked Springer to force in a second run, his last three fastballs clocking in at 90 mph, 89 mph and 90 mph, before manager Joe Maddon pulled him in favor of Jose Rodriguez.

Pujols took Ohtani off the hook for a potential loss in the third. Houston starter Josh James walked David Fletcher, struck out Rengifo and Rendon, and walked Justin Upton and Goodwin to load the bases.

James left a two-and-0 fastball up and over the middle to Pujols, who drove his 15th career grand slam over both bullpens in left field to turn a 2-0 Angels deficit into a 4-2 lead.

The 437-foot shot was the 658th homer of his career, moving Pujols to within two of Willie Mays (660) for fifth place on baseball’s all-time list. The top four players on that list are Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Alex Rodriguez.

Angels slugger Albert Pujols hits a grand slam against the Houston Astros.

Angels slugger Albert Pujols hits a grand slam against the Houston Astros in the third inning Sunday.

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

It was also the 60th homer Pujols, Houston’s former National League Central nemesis, has hit against the Astros, more than any other player.

Bregman turned around a 98-mph fastball from Keynan Middleton in the seventh, sending a leadoff homer to center field to pull the Astros to within 4-3.

Angels right-hander Ty Buttrey, summoned for a five-out save, escaped a two-on, one-out jam in the eighth, but Brantley doubled to lead off the ninth and pinch-runner Myles Straw scored on Reddick’s one-out RBI single to center for a 4-4 tie.

The Angels played their fourth straight game without center fielder Mike Trout, who was transferred from the paternity list to the restricted list for one day Sunday.

General manager Billy Eppler said the three-time American League most valuable player will travel to Seattle on Monday and join the team for Tuesday night’s game against the Mariners.

Trout spent the maximum three days on baseball’s paternity list while his wife, Jessica, delivered the couple’s first child, a son named Beckham Aaron Trout, on Thursday.





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