Shohei Ohtani threw seven scoreless innings and went 1-for-4 at the plate to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 2-0 win over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night in Anaheim, Calif.
Ohtani yielded just one hit — a two-out double by CJ Abrams in the fourth inning — while making 92 pitches. He had a season-low six strikeouts and a season-high five walks, but he allowed only one Nationals baserunner to reach third base.
Ohtani (2-0) has given up just one run in 19 innings over three starts this season. Going back to last season, he has a string of 10 consecutive starts in which he allowed two runs or fewer, breaking the club record of nine set by Nolan Ryan in 1972-73.
Jose Quijada and Carlos Estevez (first save) each threw a scoreless inning of relief and finished the shutout, the Angels’ second of the season.
Both starting pitchers put up zeros over the first three innings before the Angels broke through against Josiah Gray (0-3) in the fourth. Gray, however, escaped a potential big inning.
He began the frame by hitting both Taylor Ward and Mike Trout with pitches. Ohtani singled to load the bases, and Anthony Rendon followed with a sacrifice fly to give the Angels a 1-0 lead.
Hunter Renfroe, who entered the night with seven hits, three homers and eight RBIs in his previous three games, hit the first pitch he saw and grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The Angels increased their lead to 2-0 in the sixth when Logan O’Hoppe led off the inning with a home run, his team-leading fourth of the season. After allowing a single to Ward, Gray got Trout to hit into a force play and struck out Ohtani.
However, he walked both Rendon and Renfroe to load the bases and was removed from the game after 5 2/3 innings. Thaddeus Ward entered and struck out Luis Rengifo to end the threat.
The teams will play the rubber game of the three-game series Wednesday afternoon.
–Field Level Media