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Shohei Ohtani hits two homers but wins game on bases

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He continues to find ways to win games for the Angels

Baltimore Orioles v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Seriously. What can’t this man do?

After being named the Player of the Month in the American League, Shohei Ohtani proved to us yet again that he’s the best all around player in baseball. He hit two home runs on Friday night, giving him 30 on the season. Yes, that’s incredible, but his homers weren’t what won the game for the Angels. It was his aggressive base-running.

The Angels and Orioles were tied entering the bottom of the ninth and Ohtani stepped to the plate after the first out of the inning. He drew a walk — which actually got some boos from the home crowd. Instead of the exciting walk-off home run, Ohtani made sure that he’d be the reason the Halos would be picking up the win.

After a quick out, there were two down and the Angels were one out away from sending it to extras. Ohtani wanted no part of that. He stole second base, giving him 12 stolen bases on the season. People talk about his power being historic, but it’s also his speed that is getting him in the record books. Ohtani became the first American League player, and the third in MLB history, to record 30 home runs and 10 stolen bases in his team’s first 81 games of the season.

With Ohtani on second, Jared Walsh stepped to the plate. He singled to right, and here came Ohtani. He was sprinting home and barely beat the play at the plate, winning the game for the Angels.

As I mentioned, it was Ohtani’s speed that won the game for the Angels, but he still contributed to the game in a variety of ways.

In the bottom of the third, Ohtani crushed his 29th homer of the season to bring the Halos to within three runs. Then an inning later, he went opposite field for his 30th home run of the season. A two-run shot to put the Angels ahead by one run.

Other takeaways

  • Anthony Rendon quietly had a good night. He had three hits, and is now hitting .333 over his last seven games.
  • It was a rough night for Griffin Canning, who allowed six runs on six hits in 2 23 innings.
  • Angels are now 6.5 games back of Wild Card