Ohtani goes 0 for 4 in season debut, Angels beat Tigers 5-2
By LARRY LAGE AP Sports Writer
May 07, 2019 07:23 PM
Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani waves before the team’s baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Detroit, Tuesday, May 7, 2019.
Shohei Ohtani went 0 for 4 with an RBI groundout and walked once in his season debut as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Detroit Tigers 5-2 Tuesday night.
The Angels activated the AL Rookie of the Year from the injured list and looking very eager to make an impact, Ohtani swung so hard at times that his helmet flew off his head.
Ohtani took a called third strike in his first at-bat, grounded out to help Los Angeles take a 3-0 lead in the third, struck out on a breaking pitch, lined out to third and drew a base on balls.
The 24-year-old two-way player isn’t expected to pitch this year as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in October. But the Angels, who are under .500, are hoping he can provide a boost as their designated hitter.
Griffin Canning (1-0) earned the win in his second career start, giving up two runs and four hits over 5 1/3 innings while striking out seven. Luke Bard and Ty Buttrey combined for 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief and Hansel Robles pitched the ninth for his third save in as many chances.
Daniel Norris (1-1) allowed three runs, five hits and two walks over five innings. Eduard Jimenez, who pitched a scoreless inning in his major league debut, was one of five relievers who combined to give up two runs.
The Tigers failed to generate much offense, scoring just two runs in the sixth inning on Nicholas Castellanos’ triple and Miguel Cabrera’s single.
Ohtani hit .285 with 22 homers and 61 RBIs in 367 plate appearances last year. He became the first player since Babe Ruth with at least 10 homers and four pitching wins in the same season. As a DH, Ohtani became the first player with 15 homers as a batter and 50 strikeouts as a pitcher in the same season.
He was 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA and 63 strikeouts over 51 2/3 innings in 10 starts, limited by a torn right elbow ligament that required surgery. Ohtani has said he has “no regrets” about last year when he hit for the Angels until season’s end and delaying reconstructive surgery and his ability to pitch again until 2020.
Angels: RHP Cody Allen (lumbar spine strain) and IF Zack Cozart (neck strain) were activated from the injured list before the series opener.
Tigers: OF Christin Stewart (right quad strain) was evaluated in Detroit and is expected to be activated this weekend at Minnesota. … RHP Jordan Zimmermann (sprained elbow) played catch for a second consecutive day as part of a throwing program.
Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs (3-2, 3.12) has won two starts, giving up a total of two runs, since returning from a sprained left ankle.
Tigers: LHP Matthew Boyd (3-2, 3.05) has made six straight quality starts and ranks among AL leaders with 57 strikeouts.