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Shohei Ohtani homers, will start Thursday

MLB: Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani hit one of three Angels home runs on Tuesday night, giving them a second straight victory, 11-5 over the Rangers, and matching the club’s longest winning streak since the first week of the season.

That the Angels haven’t won more than two in a row since April 3-5 says a lot about how bad this year has gone, especially since even with the two straight victories only improved them to 21-27.

Justin Upton led off the game with a home run off Hyeon-jong Yang, the second straight game Upton had two hits while batting first. Those were the first two games batting leadoff in Upton’s career, now in his 15th major league season.

Jared Walsh added a two-run shot in the second, then Ohtani hit a three-run laser home run down the right field line in the fifth, and the rout was on.

Ohtani, tied for second in the majors with 15 home runs, hit his latest long ball 117 mph off the bat, the hardest-hit homer in his major league career.

“I would assume for us mortals it’s basically impossible,” Walsh said, per J.P. Hoornstra of the Orange County Register. “But Shohei plays by his own rules.”

Ohtani was originally slated to start on Friday, but it turns out manager Joe Maddon had the wrong date. Instead, Ohtani will start Thursday on the first game of the road trip against the A’s.

“Nothing has really changed,” Maddon said, per Rhett Bollinger of “I thought I heard Friday, but then it became Thursday. It was my fault. It was a clerical error.”

But before that road trip, the Angels have one game left in Anaheim, trying for a 5-5 homestand on Wednesday afternoon, an early start (1:07 p.m. PT) on getaway day, with Griffin Canning on the mound.