Shohei Ohtani records career-high 13 strikeouts, Angels beat Royals 5-0
June 23, 2022
Shohei Ohtani recorded a career-high 13 strikeouts while allowing only two hits throughout eight dominating innings during the Los Angeles Angels' 5-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night. The AL MVP also reached base three times throughout the game.
Ohtani (6-4), who had previously allowed two singles to start the first, retired 16 consecutive Royals players and 23 of the final 24 batters he faced in the game. While he was tied for the longest start of his career in the major leagues, he only gave up one baserunner over the final seven innings of his start, and that was due to a walk that was immediately followed by a double play.
“I think the biggest thing was putting up that zero in the first inning after giving up those first two hits,” Ohtani said through his translator. “I was able to do that, and it set the tone for the game. I wanted to go as long as I could, but I wasn’t really thinking about the pitch count early in the game.”
Ohtani's record for strikeouts in games
Ohtani set a new record for strikeouts in his career by striking Emmanuel Rivera on the 108th. Also, the last pitch of his career one night after hitting two home runs with a combined six runs scored. He was also driving in a career-high eight runs in a game that went into extra innings.
David MacKinnon's RBI single in the seventh inning helped the Angels avoid a series sweep and win their fourth game in six. Luis Rengifo had an RBI double in the seventh and scored on a single by MacKinnon, who collected his first career RBI with a sacrifice fly two innings earlier.
The Royals were held scoreless for the second time in as many games in four days and for the tenth time this season. The Royals had scored 18 runs in the previous two games at Angel Stadium. Kansas City has still won five of their last seven games.
Ohtani hasn't lost in his last 20 innings over three starts. Two weeks ago, he tossed seven innings of one-run ball in his previous home start and homered to end the Angels' franchise-record 14-game slide.
Ohtani, the two-way superstar for the Angels, retired every batter he faced after Whit Merrifield, and Andrew Benintendi singled in the Royals' first two at-bats against him. However, after Merrifield drew a walk with one out in the sixth inning, Benintendi quickly grounded into a double play. Ohtani then retired the final batter he faced, which was Whit Merrifield.
Ohtani's fastball reached speeds of up to 99 miles per hour twice in the second half of his debut as he mesmerized Kansas City and racked up an incredible 34 combined strikes on swing-and-misses or called strikes.
Daniel Lynch (3-7) wasn't as good for the Royals early on, but the left-hander shut down the Angels until they got two walks and an infield single in the fifth to load the bases. Lynch left the game after MacKinnon's sacrifice fly because he had given up three hits and five walks in 104 pitches, which was a career-high.
The Angels gave Mike Trout a day off, making their already weak lineup even weaker. But MacKinnon came through as the team's unlikely cleanup hitter. He got his first hit in the major leagues after being called for the first time last weekend. Both Andrew Velazquez and Taylor Ward contributed insurance runs for the Los Angeles team in the eighth inning.