Shohei Ohtani struck out nine over seven dominant innings to power the Los Angeles Angels to a 2-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.
Ohtani (11-8) allowed just two hits and a walk from his 109 pitches as he outlasted Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah in an intense pitchers' duel at Rogers Center.
Manoah (12-7) fanned eight over seven frames but gave up the go-ahead run in the sixth on Luis Rengifo's RBI single.
Bouncing back from a rough previous start, in which he threw just four innings due to a stomach virus, Ohtani teamed with right-handed reliever Jimmy Herget to shut out the Blue Jays and go up 2-0 in their three-game series.
The reigning American League MVP did not settle into the game immediately, throwing more than 40 pitches through the first two innings, but he made the necessary adjustments to record his sixth shutout start this season.
"I wasn't throwing very good pitches for the first three innings," Ohtani said. "I'm glad I was able to stick with it from there."
"I made good use of straight balls, while my cutter and splitter were effective."
The two-way star went 0-for-2 at the plate as the designated hitter, drawing two walks and striking out once.
While the Angels have fallen short of expectations in an otherwise disappointing season, their 16 shutout wins this year is tied with the New York Mets for the most in the majors, according to MLB.com.