Baseball: Ohtani remains 1 shy of 10-win, 10-homer season

Shohei Ohtani remained one win shy of becoming the first player in a century to reach double-digits in wins and homers in a single MLB season, as he took the loss in the Los Angeles Angels' 2-0 defeat Thursday to the Texas Rangers.

In his quest for his 10th win of 2022, Ohtani (9-6) scattered eight hits over six innings, allowing two runs and no walks while striking out 11 at Angel Stadium.

Hall of Famer Babe Ruth, who pitched for the Boston Red Sox from 1914 to 1919, won 13 games while hitting 11 home runs in 1918, when he began spending time in the outfield.

Bullet Rogan of the Kansas City Monarchs won 15 games as a pitcher and hit 15 homers in 1922, according to the Seamheads Negro Leagues database.

Ohtani twice performed the feat in Japan's majors, in 2014 and 2016.

It is the sixth straight game in which Ohtani struck out 10-plus batters. Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hideo Nomo had held the record for most consecutive double-digit strikeout performances by a Japanese in MLB, with four games in 1995.

Ohtani went 0-for-4 at the plate as the Angels dropped the opener of the four-game series after winning two of three against the Kansas City Royals to get their first series win in nearly a month.

At Rogers Centre, Yusei Kikuchi returned from the injured list to pick up his first win since June 30. He pitched five strong innings to help the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Detroit Tigers 5-3 in the opener of a four-game series.

Kikuchi (4-5), who was placed on the 15-day IL with a neck strain earlier this month, allowed one run on two hits, including a game-opening solo shot to Willi Castro, and one walk with five strikeouts.

© Kyodo News