ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mookie Betts led off with the first of his three homers, and the Boston Red Sox chased Shohei Ohtani just two innings into his third big-league start to beat the Los Angeles Angels 10-1 on Tuesday night.
Ohtani (2-1) yielded four hits and three runs on 66 pitches before exiting with a blister on his pitching hand. The two-way Japanese sensation couldn’t throw his breaking pitches for strikes, and the Red Sox’s formidable lineup pounced.
Jackie Bradley Jr., Brock Holt and Betts each homered in the third inning after Ohtani departed, and Rafael Devers homered in the fourth. Betts hit his third solo shot in the seventh inning, matching his career best while Boston’s formidable lineup pounded out 15 hits in its fifth consecutive victory.
David Price (2-1) yielded three hits and four walks over five comfortable innings as the Red Sox improved to 14-2, extending the AL’s best start since 1987 by winning the opener of a three-game series between two clubs off to impressive starts.
The Angels (13-4) are still off to the best start in franchise history, but their seven-game winning streak ended in front of their second-biggest home crowd of the 21st century. The Big A was packed with 44,822 fans eager to see Ohtani, whose impressive opening month has drawn unprecedented early season attention to the Orange County club.
The defeat was a reality check on the mania surrounding the 23-year-old Ohtani, who has said he still has plenty of work to do on the mound and at the plate. He won his first two starts in impressive fashion earlier this month, and he is off to a .367, three-homer start as a designated hitter.
Ohtani’s fastball still hit 99 mph during his first career night start, but the evening began poorly when Betts worked a full count before hammering a low, 97 mph fastball into left-center for his 12th career leadoff homer.
Ohtani allowed another single and threw a wild pitch in the first inning. Betts drew the only walk issued by Ohtani, who survived the second inning despite mostly dismal control. Boston scored two more runs on Holt’s RBI single and Andrew Benintendi’s sacrifice fly.
The Angels then decided to end Ohtani’s night early due to the blister. He has had intermittent issues with blisters during the past few months, and he had a bandage on one of his fingers last week.
Ohtani took a perfect game into the seventh inning against Oakland nine days ago, and his third start was delayed two days because of bitter winter weather in Kansas City last weekend.
Albert Pujols got his 2,989th career hit with an RBI single in the third inning, but the Angels’ designated hitter was ejected in the fifth after slamming his bat and helmet into the dirt while protesting a called third strike by umpire Vic Carapazza.
Red Sox: Betts was in Boston’s lineup for the first time since Saturday, when he injured his foot in a home plate collision. He sat out Sunday, and the Red Sox were rained out Monday.
Angels: RHP Matt Shoemaker said his injured right forearm feels considerably better after some rest, but he still hasn’t been cleared to throw. He missed several months last season due to a compressed nerve in the same forearm, and he hasn’t pitched since March 31 this season.
Red Sox: Rick Porcello (3-0, 1.83 ERA) took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his last start against the Yankees. He has won five straight decisions since last September. He also has thrown a complete game in each of his last two starts in Anaheim.
Angels: Tyler Skaggs (2-0, 1.69 ERA) makes the fourth start of his promising season after getting pushed back due to the Kansas City weather. The left-hander hasn’t yielded more than two runs in a start this year.
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