Sunday afternoon the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels won for the seventh time in their last eight games, and the 12th time in their last 16 games. Starter Michael Lorenzen took the ball into the ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox (LAA 6, CWS 5) and the great Mike Trout launched his sixth home run of the young season.
It was not all good for the Angels, however. Two-way wunderkind Shohei Ohtani exited the game with right groin tightness in the ninth inning, the team announced. He went 0 for 3 with a walk and also grounded into a double play in the seventh inning. Ohtani was replaced by a pinch-hitter for his next at-bat in the ninth inning. Manager Joe Maddon said Ohtani felt the tightness while running to first in the seventh inning.
Ohtani initally told reporters he expected to play Monday when the Angels wrap up their series in Chicago, though that was not the case. He was not in Monday’s lineup, but pinch-hit in a 3-0 loss.
It’s not terribly surprising the Angels are playing it safe with their star player. Ohtani was scheduled to start on the mound Tuesday against the Red Sox, but that outing will be pushed back. It’s possible that Ohtani starts one of the other two games in the three-game set vs. Boston, Maddon said.
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The reigning AL MVP has been good rather than great early this season. He went into Sunday’s game with a .236/.284/.416 line with four home runs in 21 games as a hitter, and with a 4.19 ERA in 19 1/3 innings across four starts as a pitcher. Ohtani has struck out 30 batters and walked only five in those 19 1/3 innings.