Sep 14 2022

Baseball: Ohtani earns 12th win in blister-shortened outing

By Coro
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HOUSTON (Kyodo) -- Shohei Ohtani set a pair of personal MLB pitching milestones Saturday as he extended his career-high win total to 12 in the Los Angeles Angels' 6-1 win over the Houston Astros.

Ohtani (12-8) was lifted with a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand after five effective innings in which he allowed one run and six hits in a 79-pitch outing at Minute Maid Park.

In the third inning, he struck out Astros hitter Kyle Tucker with a fastball clocked at 101.4 miles (163.2 kilometers) per hour, the fastest pitch Ohtani has thrown in MLB. He formerly held a Japanese pro baseball speed record of 165 kph.

Ohtani survived a first-inning scrape in which he allowed a run on two hits, a walk and a wild pitch, but settled down.

"My pitching wasn't that good in the first inning, but escaping further trouble was big both for me and for the team," Ohtani said. "A lot of the balls hit off me were lucky, so I figured I could get outs on balls in play and moved on."

"Their lineup is not one I can shut down just by pitching however I like."

His new pitch, a two-seam sinking fastball he began using in games in August, made up a quarter of the pitches he threw Saturday. Although he was able to command it, Ohtani didn't rule out the possibility that the sinker was responsible for the blister.

"Sometimes that happens with a new pitch, but whatever it was, throwing so hard also factored into it," he said.

Ohtani stayed in the game to hit after leaving the mound and finished 0-for-4.

Ohtani struck out seven and walked two. Mike Trout homered for a franchise record sixth consecutive game, pushing the Angels' lead to 5-1 in the second inning with a three-run shot to left.

Astros starter Jose Urquidy (13-6) gave up six runs in five innings of work.

In other action in the major leagues, Texas Rangers pitcher Kohei Arihara (1-3) was roughed up for 11 runs on 12 hits in three-plus innings in the team's 11-7 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Seiya Suzuki went hitless in four at-bats in the Chicago Cubs' 5-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants.

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