ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani couldn’t connect at the plate, going 0 for 3 while twice leaving runners in scoring position. Although Ohtani was solid on the mound, he couldn’t retire Sean Murphy in two key situations.
Ohtani sometimes has to do it all by himself for the struggling Angels to win, and the Oakland Athletics did just enough against the two-way superstar to claim an encouraging victory.
Murphy homered and drove in three runs off Ohtani, leading the A’s to a 3-1 victory over Los Angeles on Wednesday night.
James Kaprielian (3-5) pitched six-hit ball into the sixth as the A’s snapped their three-game losing streak by beating Ohtani (9-7), who has no victories over Oakland in five mound appearances since 2018.
Ohtani yielded seven hits and two earned runs while pitching into the sixth inning of his third straight defeat, again falling short of his career-best 10th mound victory after Murphy hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the sixth. The AL MVP struck out seven A’s, which ended his streak of six consecutive starts with double-digit strikeouts just short of Nolan Ryan’s franchise-record seven.
“He had his fair share of punchouts, but that’s what he’s going to do,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “I think we had good at-bats and got his pitch count up and got him out early.”
Ohtani was fairly happy with his slider-heavy mound performance, but he lamented his effort at the plate. He has received one run of support from himself and his fellow Angels hitters during his three-game skid.
“Especially in the situation with (runners on) second and third, one out (in the third inning), I felt like if I came through in that at-bat, we could have won the game,” Ohtani said through his translator. “Since I didn’t, I felt like that was the biggest moment of the…