BOSTON (AP) — Shohei Ohtani left his mark on Fenway Park with the finest two-way performance since Babe Ruth himself.
Pitching at the historic ballpark for the first time, Ohtani struck out 11 in seven shutout innings and added two hits — one of them a 109 mph line drive that banged off the Green Monster so hard that it knocked his No. 17 out of the pitcher’s slot on the manual scoreboard.
“I hope you don’t start taking that for granted. Like it’s old hat,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said of Ohtani’s skills. “It’s just so unusual. It’s otherworldly, on this level of this game.”
The display came during Los Angeles’ 8-0 win over Boston Thursday that included a five-run eighth inning in the ballpark where Ruth debuted in 1914 and played six seasons before the Red Sox sold him to the Yankees.
In the fourth, Ohtani hit a 389-foot single that was about a foot shy of being a home run. In the eighth, he singled off the left-field wall to drive in one run, then scored as the Angels turned a 2-0 game into a blowout.
Ohtani (3-2) also induced 29 swings and misses from Boston batters — a career high, and the most for any pitcher this year. He threw 81 of his 99 pitches for strikes, also a career high.
“It’s one of my favorite ballparks,” said Ohtani, who has batted .302 with two homers in 10 games at Fenway. “I was looking forward to pitching here.”
Ohtani’s start was pushed back two days because of groin tightness and came about 14 hours after the Angels scored six times in the 10th inning to beat the Red Sox 10-5. As the designated hitter in that contest, Ohtani walked in the ninth and walked and scored in the 10th.
“To be honest, I was pretty fatigued,” he said. “My body was pretty tired. I tried to get to sleep as early as…