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Shohei Ohtani’s great start goes to waste as Angels drop series-opener in Oakland

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He throws six scoreless innings and strikes out eight in LA’s loss

Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Angels couldn’t capitalize on a great start from Shohei Ohtani, as the offense scored only one run in their 4-1 loss to the Athletics.

Ironically, the Halos actually had more hits than Oakland, but it didn’t matter. The Angels were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven runners on base. Whenever they had a chance to put some runs on the board, the bats when quiet.

David Fletcher led off the first inning with a double, beginning a new hitting streak at one game. With him standing at second and nobody out, the Angels went 0-for-3 to strand him there to end the inning. The Angels began the following inning with another leadoff hit, as Brandon Marsh recorded the first hit of his big-league career.

With two outs and a runner on first in the third, Ohtani doubled to center field to bring in Fletcher from first. With home plate blocked, Fletcher was thrown out at the plate, leaving the Angels without a run for the third straight inning.

The Angels had themselves a chance to tie it in the ninth. After Marsh recorded his first RBI, an error put runners on the corners with two outs. Adam Eaton stepped to the plate representing the tying run. He flew out to third baseman Matt Chapman, who made an incredible play in foul territory to end the game.

Ohtani was fantastic on the mound for the Angels. He tossed six scoreless innings, allowing Oakland to record only three hits. Ohtani struck out eight, the sixth time this season he’s struck out that many. It was his first outing going at least six innings while allowing zero runs this season.

When Ohtani left the game was when the Athletics took the lead. Steve Cishek took over and things quickly took a turn. He walked the first two hitters, bringing up Ramon Laureano to the plate. Known for killing the Angels in the past, he did just that. Laureano connected for a three-run home run to put Oakland ahead. Entering tonight’s game, Cishek had a 2.83 ERA and hadn’t allowed a run in more than a month, spanning 15 consecutive appearances. They scored a run an inning later, and Oakland took the first game of the series.

Other news and notes

  • Justin Upton began his rehab assignment in Salt Lake. He went 1-for-3 with a home run. He’s been out since June 25 with a right lower back strain.
  • Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register spoke with Mike Trout and asked him about when he potentially could see him return. Trout said he was running at 90 percent. He’s “excited” about his progress but still doesn’t know when a rehab assignment will start. He thinks it’s “close” but didn’t know more specifically. Once he starts running the bases he could potentially go on assignment.
  • This... doesn’t seem good