BOSTON – Shohei Ohtani struck out 11 over seven shutout innings, had two hits and drove in a run in the Los Angeles Angels’ 8-0 win over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday.
Making his pitching debut in Babe Ruth’s original ballpark, the sport’s biggest two-way star since Ruth induced 29 swings and misses from Boston batters — a career high for Ohtani (3-2) and the most for any pitcher this year. He threw 81 of his 99 pitches for strikes, also a career high.
Jared Walsh had four RBIs, curling a two-run homer around the left-field foul pole in the seventh to break a scoreless tie.
The Angels turned a two-run game into a blowout in the eighth, when Ohtani’s line drive hit the Green Monster so hard that it knocked his uniform number out of the starting pitcher’s slot on the manual scoreboard.
Anthony Rendon followed with an RBI single to chase Tanner Houck (2-2), and Walsh added a two-run dribbler through the shifted infield to make it 7-0. Houck gave up seven runs on five hits and a walk, striking out four in 2 1/3 innings.
Brandon Marsh added a solo homer in the ninth.
Ohtani, who had pushed back his start from Tuesday because of groin tightness, allowed six hits and no walks. He also threw a wild pitch that allowed Rafael Devers to reach base on a strikeout in the first.
Ohtani gave up a leadoff double to Jackie Bradley Jr. in the fifth. In the sixth, J.D. Martinez doubled with one out but was stranded when Andrew Velazquez made a diving catch of Franchy Cordero’s blooper to end the inning.
Ohtani was the first pitcher at Fenway Park to bat in the top four of the order since Ruth, who was the Red Sox’s cleanup hitter in the first game of a Sept. 20, 1919, doubleheader.
In the fourth inning, Ohtani matched another Red Sox Hall of Famer by becoming the first starting pitcher to record a hit at Fenway since Roger Clemens in 1996. Ohtani and Clemens are the only starting pitchers to record hits at Fenway in the designated hitter era.
Rich Hill pitched five shutout innings for Boston, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out six. He remains winless for the season despite allowing zero runs over 13 innings in his last three starts.
Hill retired the first nine batters in order, then walked Taylor Ward to lead off the fourth. With two outs, Ohtani lofted a high fly ball to center field that Bradley lost in the sun and the wind. It bounced off the wall abutting the Red Sox bullpen. Ward, who had to wait, scampered to third, but Ohtani was held to a single.
Ohtani fouled a ball off the inside of his right ankle in the seventh, but stayed in the game.
Angels: Return home to open a three-game series Friday against the Washington Nationals, who will pitch RHP Joan Adon (1-4).
Red Sox: Host the Chicago White Sox in the Friday’s opener of a three-game series. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-0) will start against RHP Vince Velasquez (1-2).
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