BOSTON (AP) — Shohei Ohtani struck out 11 over seven innings, had two hits and drove in a run in the Los Angeles Angels’ 8-0 win over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday.
Making his pitching debut in the original ballpark of Babe Ruth, the sport’s biggest two-way star since Ruth caused 29 swings and misses from Boston batters – a career high for Ohtani (3-2 ) and the most for any pitcher this year. He threw 81 of his 99 pitches for strikes, also a career high.
Jared Walsh had four RBIs, looping a two-run homer around the left-field foul post in the seventh to break a scoreless tie.
The Angels turned a two-run game into a blowout in the eighth, when Ohtani’s drive line hit the Green Monster so hard it knocked his uniform number out of the starting pitcher’s slot on the manual dashboard.
Anthony Rendon followed with an RBI single to chase Tanner Houck (2-2), and Walsh added a two-point dribbler across the staggered infield to make it 7-0. Houck allowed seven runs on five hits and a walk, striking out four in 2 1/3 innings.
Brandon Marsh added a solo homer in the ninth.
Ohtani, who had delayed his start on Tuesday due to a tight groin, allowed six hits and no walks. He also threw a wild pitch that allowed Rafael Devers to reach base on a strikeout in the first.
Ohtani gave up a brace to Jackie Bradley Jr. in the fifth. In the sixth, JD Martinez doubled with one out but was blocked when Andrew Velazquez caught by diving Franchy Cordero’s blooper to end the inning.
Ohtani was the first Fenway Park pitcher to make the order’s top four since Ruth, who was the Red Sox cleanup hitter in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Sept. 20, 1919.
In the fourth inning, Ohtani tied 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 safe at Fenway in the era of designated hitters.
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 allowing no runs in 13 innings in his last three starts.
Hill struck out the first nine batters in order, then walked Taylor Ward to lead the fourth. With two outs, Ohtani sent a high ball to center field that Bradley lost in the sun and wind. He bounced off the wall adjacent to the Red Sox bullpen. Ward, who had to wait, took third, but Ohtani was limited to a single.
Ohtani fouled a ball inside his right ankle in the seventh, but stayed in the game.
Angels: Go home to open a three-game series on Friday against the Washington Nationals, who will pitch RHP Joan Adon (1-4).
Red Sox: Host the Chicago White Sox in Friday’s first game of a three-game series. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-0) will start against RHP Vince Velasquez (1-2).
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