ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Shohei Ohtani sparked a four-run sixth-inning rally with his legs, and the Los Angeles Angels beat Texas 7-2 on Wednesday night to send the Rangers to their first 100-loss season since 1973.
With the score 2-2, Ohtani led off the sixth with a sharp grounder to first baseman Nathaniel Lowe and beat pitcher Taylor Hearn to the bag. Ohtani stole second, continued to third on a throwing error by catcher Jose Trevino and came home when Jack Mayfield singled through a drawn-in infield.READ MORE: FDA Advisory Panel Recommends Emergency Use Authorization For Johnson & Johnson Booster
“His legs are fresh,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “I mean, how does he do it? It’s playoff time and the guy’s still going like it’s spring training almost.”
Before the game, Maddon said the two-way star will not pitch again this season. Ohtani is hitting .258 with 45 homers, 98 RBIs and 26 stolen bases to go along with a 9-2 record with a 3.18 ERA in 23 starts, and 156 strikeouts and 44 walks in 130 1/3 innings. He hit leadoff Wednesday for the 22nd time instead of his usual No. 2 hole.
Texas joined Baltimore and Arizona (107 defeats) as 100-game losers, and Pittsburgh has 99 defeats with four games left. The only previous seasons with four 100-loss teams were 2002 and 2019.
“It’s a failure,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “We will win a championship at some point, hopefully soon. So this hundred-loss season we’ll never forget but, obviously, will make that World Series championship a little bit sweeter.”
Jared Walsh and Juan Lagares added RBI singles in the sixth and Luis Rengifo hit into a run-scoring forceout.READ MORE: Some Parent Groups Proposing Monday 'Sit-Outs' At Schools To Protest Against Vaccine Mandates
Texas put runners on the corners with none out in the sixth against Austin Warren, but Jose Quijada (1-2) struck out the next three batters to earn his first win since July 2019.
Hearn (6-6) allowed four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings, throwing a career-high 91 pitches.
Angels rookie starter Janson Junk took a two-hit shutout into the fifth inning, then gave up four straight two-out singles that tied the score 2-2. Making his fourth big league start, Junk allowed seven hits in 4 1/3 innings, struck out five and walked none in throwing a career-most 69 pitches.
Los Angeles led 2-0 in the second inning and had runners at second and third with two outs when Lagares was picked off third base by Trevino. When Lagares dove back toward the bag, his lead hand jammed into the foot of third baseman Yonny Hernandez.
Ohtani stole two bases and joined Jose Canseco (1988, ’91, ’98) as the only AL players with 45 homers and 25 steals. He is the first to also score 100 runs.
“This is the first year of a lot of ground-breaking stuff by him,” Maddon said. “I think it’s going to continue.”MORE NEWS: Section Of MacArthur Park To Close To Begin Repairs, Maintenance Work
“And I still think there’s room that he can get even better,” Angels general manager Perry Minasian said. “It’s scary.”