The Los Angeles Angels hope Shohei Ohtani continues his offensive outburst against the host Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday after delivering one of the best performances of his career in the opener of the four-game series.
Ohtani put on quite a show at Camden Yards on Monday, going 4-for-5 with three RBIs, three runs and a walk while finishing a double shy of the cycle. But his biggest highlight was when he smashed Grayson Rodriguez’s curveball 456 feet for a three-run homer during the Angels’ five-run fourth inning that broke the game open in a 9-5 win.
“He just hung a curveball in that spot,” Ohtani said through an interpreter. “I didn’t even take a hard swing. The ball went where it went.”
Ohtani, however, wasn’t superhuman on the mound, but he was good enough to improve to 5-1. The right-hander yielded a career-high-tying three homers and a season-high-tying five runs on four hits to go along with five strikeouts and two walks.
Ohtani just missed becoming the first starting pitcher in major league history to hit for the cycle. However, he did become the first starting pitcher to reach base five times in a game since the Yankees’ Mel Stottlemyre did it against the Washington Senators in September of 1964, though Stottlemyre had five base hits.
“(Ohtani’s) one of the best players on the planet,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “We have to pitch better to him than we did tonight.”
Baltimore’s Dean Kremer (4-1, 4.97 ERA) will try to do just that. The right-hander is coming off his best start of the season, holding the Tampa Bay Rays to just four hits to go along with four strikeouts and two walks over six shutout innings during a 2-1 win last Wednesday.
Kremer has faced the Angels just once in his career, allowing just two hits with three walks and seven strikeouts over five shutout innings in a 1-0 win last July. Ohtani went 0-for-1 with a strikeout and a walk against him.
Monday’s loss put the Orioles in an unfamiliar position. They dropped just their second series opener of the season and must win three straight games if they are to win their third straight series. Baltimore has won nine of its past 10 series.
The Orioles have defeated the Angels in eight of the teams’ past 10 meetings dating back to a 10-6 win on Aug. 25, 2021.
The Angels will counter with right-hander Chase Silseth, a reliever who will be making his first start of the season after coming out of the bullpen in all four of his previous appearances this year. He has taken the spot in the rotation vacated by Jose Suarez, who is on the 15-day injured list with a strained left shoulder.
Silseth allowed six runs (three earned) on five hits with three strikeouts and two walks in 3 1/3 innings of relief during a 16-8 loss to the Texas Rangers in his last outing on May 7.
Silseth has faced the Orioles just once in his career, allowing four runs on six hits with two strikeouts and a walk during his four-inning start in a 4-1 loss last July.
–Field Level Media
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