ANAHEIM, Calif. ( Associated Press) — Shohei Otani scored a season-high 13 points over eight two-hit dominant innings, and the AL MVP also reached base three times in the Los Angeles Angels’ 5-0 win over Kansas City. Wednesday evening.
Having given up two singles to start first, Otani (6-4) has given up 16 straight Royals and 23 of the last 24 batters he has faced. Corresponding to the longest start of his major league career, he only allowed one baserunner to go through the last seven innings – on a walk that was quickly erased by a double play.
With a rare Southern California thunderstorm illuminating the sky far beyond center field at Big A, Otani also had one and two plate walks in his latest rousing two-way performance.
One night after Otani hit two three-point homers and had a career-high eight runs in an extra loss. He set a new career mark for strikeouts by sweeping Emmanuel Rivera on his 108th and final innings.
David McKinnon scored his first major league success with an RBI single in seventh for the Angels, who went undefeated in the series with their fourth win in six games overall. Luis Rengifo had an RBI double in the seventh before hitting that single to the right of McKinnon, who got his first career RBI two innings earlier with a sacrifice.
After scoring 18 points in the previous two games at Angel Stadium, the Royals were eliminated for the second time in four days and for the 10th time this season. Kansas City still won five out of seven.
But Otani has been unbeatable on the hill lately, allowing only one run in his last 20 innings in three starts. In his last home start two weeks ago, he threw seven innings in one run and also scored a win that broke the Angels’ franchise-record 14-game drift.
Whit Merrifield and Andrew Benintendi scored in the Royals’ first two games against Otani, but the Angels’ two-way superstar then batted every batter he faced until Merrifield snatched a single walk in the sixth – and Benintendi quickly landed in a double play.
Otani’s fastball topped 99 mph twice in the second half of his start, while he dazzled Kansas City with a whopping 34 combined swings and misses or hits received.
Daniel Lynch (3-7) wasn’t as effective for the Royals early on, but the southpaw resourcefully disabled the Angels until they loaded the bases in fifth on two walks and one infield. Lynch, who left after McKinnon’s sacrifice, gave up three hits and five walks on a career-high 104 pitches.
Mike Trout gave the Angels a day off, leaving their struggling roster visibly lacking in power. But McKinnon has proven himself to be the team’s incredible hitter, earning his first major league pick after being called up last weekend for his MLB debut.
Andrew Velasquez and Taylor Ward finished eighth in insurance in Los Angeles.
Royals: C Salvador Perez served time after re-injuring his left thumb while swinging Tuesday night, but manager Mike Matheny said the team is still determining the severity of the injury after the MRI.
Angels: RHP Jimmy Herget is on the 15-day injured list with right shoulder impingement. Right-handers Elvis Peguero and Oliver Ortega came out of Triple-A Salt Lake, while fickle rookie Reid Detmers went down. just six starts after the throw with no hitters.
Royals: Zach Greinke is expected to come off the injured list on Friday to start when Kansas City opens the weekend’s three-game streak at home against Oakland. Greinke (0-4, 5.05 ERA) went to IL three weeks ago with a sprained forearm.
Angels: After a holiday at home, LA opens a three-game weekend streak against Seattle on Friday night. Neither team has confirmed the starting lineup.
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