Shohei Ohtani picked up his 14th victory of the season to go with his 90th RBI and Taylor Ward hit two homers to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Friday night in Minneapolis.
Ohtani (14-8), despite walking a season-high six batters and hitting a batter, allowed two runs on three hits in five-plus innings. Ohtani had a no-hitter through 4 2/3 innings and struck out five batters in a row before Luis Arraez broke up the no-hitter with an opposite field single to left.
Ohtani finished with seven strikeouts to give him 203 for the season, becoming the 11th pitcher in Angels’ (66-85) history to have 200 strikeouts in a season and the first since Jered Weaver in 2010. He also became the first player since 1900 to both face 600 batters on the mound and also have 600 plate appearances in a season.
Ohtani left in the sixth after giving up an RBI single to Jake Cave and leaving the bases loaded. But reliever Aaron Loup got out of the jam by striking out Matt Wallner and then getting pinch-hitter Gilberto Celestino to ground into a double play.
Livan Soto went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored and Ryan Tepera pitched a scoreless ninth to notch his fourth save for Los Angeles.
Louie Varland (0-2) suffered the loss allowing three runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings. The St. Paul native walked one and struck out three in his first Target Field start. Jake Cave went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Gio Urshela walked three times for the Twins who lost their fifth straight game.
Minnesota (73-78) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning without the benefit of a hit. Ohtani, who had trouble gripping the ball in chilly conditions combined with a light rain, walked Jose Miranda, hit Nick Gordon and then walked Gio Urshela to load the bases with one out. Jake Cave then lined a one-hopper to second to start a 4-6-5 double play that finished with Gordon getting tagged out going to third after Miranda had already crossed home plate for a run.
The Angels tied it in the second when Ward lined a homer 418 feet into the front row of the second deck and then took a 2-1 lead on an RBI single by Mike Trout, driving in Max Stassi who walked.
Ward made it 3-1 in the sixth when he led off with his 21st home run of the season over the 403-foot sign in center, the second multi-homer game of his career.
The Twins closed to 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth on Cave’s RBI single but the Angels answered with an RBI single by Ohtani in the seventh to finish the scoring.
–Field Level Media