After eight strong innings from Shohei Ohtani on Saturday night, the last thing Matt Duffy and the Los Angeles Angels wanted was to make sure that effort was in vain. Thanks to Duffy, it was not.
Duffy’s bloop single in the 12th inning drove in Taylor Ward with the winning run as the Angels rallied for a 2-1 victory over the Houston Astros.
Earlier in the game, Ohtani reached 400 major league strikeouts. The Japanese two-way phenom threw a season-high 111 pitches, allowing six hits and striking out five. It was the fourth time in the majors — and second this year — he has gone eight innings.
Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY
“You never want to waste an outing like that. What he does on the mound, it’s crazy,” said Duffy, who had the fourth walk-off hit of his career and first since 2018. “People were talking about [New York Yankees slugger Aaron] Judge for MVP [Most Valuable Player], but he’s got to break [Roger] Maris’ [home run mark] to be in the conversation for me. I mean, some people might think that’s ridiculous in New York, I’m sure. But what Ohtani does on both sides of the ball. I mean, just because it’s boring to you doesn’t mean it isn’t exceptional.”
Ohtani and Houston’s Luis Garcia were locked in an entertaining pitchers’ duel as each just allowed one run. Garcia went seven innings, struck out seven and gave up only three hits with two walks.
“That’s a tough one to lose. You’re not gonna keep beating these guys over and over and over. But, we’d like to,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said.
Through 23 starts this year, Ohtani has 181 strikeouts, which is eighth in the majors, and his 2.58 ERA is ninth.
Just 10 pitchers in MLB history have reached 400 strikeouts faster than Ohtani. The list includes Dwight Gooden, Hideo Nomo, the San Diego Padre’s Yu Darvish, the Cleveland Guardian’s Shane Bieber and Noah Syndergaard, who began the year with the Angels before being traded to Philadelphia Phillies.
In Chicago, Dylan Cease came within one out of his career no-hitter, and the streaking Chicago White Sox pounded the Minnesota Twins 13-0.
Cease received a huge ovation when he came out to start the ninth. With fans on their feet, he struck out Caleb Hamilton swinging on a 1-2 slider and retired Gilberto Celestino on a fly to center.
Luis Arraez then dumped a line-drive single into right-center on a 1-1 pitch, ending Cease’s bid for Chicago’s third no-hitter in as many years.
After a meeting on the mound, Cease struck out Kyle Garlick to finish his first career nine-inning complete game. He threw a seven-inning shutout against the Detroit Tigers last year.
Teammates lined up outside the dugout and high-fived Cease as he walked off. Fans chanted “Cease” and he came back out for more cheers.
Cease had seven strikeouts — none until the fifth inning. He threw 103 pitches, 68 for strikes.
In other games on Saturday, it was:
‧ Giants 5, Phillies 4
‧ Red Sox 5, Rangers 3
‧ Royals 12, Tigers 2
‧ Rays 2, Yankees 1
‧ Blue Jays 4, Pirates 1
‧ Orioles 8, Athletics 1
‧ Nationals 7, Mets 1
‧ Cardinals 8, Cubs 4
‧ Mariners 4, Guardians 0
‧ Braves 2, Marlins 1
‧ Brewers 8, Diamondbacks 6
‧ Dodgers 12, Padres 1
Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying yesterday claimed her first victory at the season-ending Badminton World Tour (BWF) Finals, while Chou Tien-chen lost his second match in the men’s singles at the Nimibutr Arena in Bangkok. Tai on Wednesday lost in her first outing at the Badminton World Federation event against China’s He Bingjiao and was forced to work hard against home hope Busanan Ongbamrungphan yesterday, winning 22-20, 21-16 in 43 minutes. Game 1 was in the balance at 17-17 when Ongbamrungphan seemed to run out of patience in a long rally, putting a shot out of bounds from a stable position and in the
Germany forward Thomas Mueller on Thursday said that his country’s second successive first-round exit from the FIFA World Cup was an “absolute catastrophe,” which teammate Kai Havertz likened to “watching a horror movie.” Germany beat Costa Rica, but Spain’s defeat to Japan meant Germany finished third in Group E behind Spain, with the teams equal on four points and the positions decided only by goal difference. “It is unbelievably bitter for us because our result would have been enough,” Mueller said. “It’s a feeling of powerlessness.” Mueller was part of the 2014 World Cup-winning team and was also in the side who were
Taiwanese-American basketballer Jeremy Lin, who plays for a Chinese team, was fined 10,000 yuan (US$1,400) for “inappropriate remarks” on social media about quarantine facilities ahead of a game, the China Basketball Association said yesterday. Lin, who plays for the Loong Lions Basketball Club, made “inappropriate remarks about quarantine hotel-related facilities” where the team stayed on Wednesday ahead of a game, the association said. It said that “caused adverse effects on the league and the competition area.” The Chinese Communist Party is trying to crush criticism of the human cost and disruption of its “zero COVID-19” strategy, which has confined millions of people to
Taiwan’s top two badminton players, Tai Tzu-ying and Chou Tien-chen, are today to compete at the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals in Bangkok. Tai, who is world No. 3 in women’s singles, is to compete in Group B in the eight-player draw with world No. 5 He Bingjiao of China, and world No. 7 Ratchanok Intanon and world No. 10 Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand. Group A features world No. 1 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan, world No. 2 An Se-young of South Korea, world No. 4 Chen Yufei of China and world No. 18 Gregoria Mariska Tunjung of Indonesia. Tai, who has struggled at