Angels’ Shohei Ohtani retired to pinch hitter at No. 9 because of cramps

ESPN News ServicesJuly 28, 2023, 10:30 PM ET3 minute reading

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Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani hit his major league-leading 39th home run Friday night against the Toronto Blue Jays, but was removed from the game for the second straight day because of cramps.

Manager Phil Nevin said afterward that Ohtani was removed because of cramps in both calves and that he would be reevaluated Saturday. A day earlier, Ohtani left the second game of a doubleheader in Detroit because of cramps.

Asked about a possible injury list for Ohtani, Nevin said, “We’re not even thinking about it.”

“We’ll evaluate it tomorrow when he gets up,” Nevin said. “It’s just cramping right now. It’s kind of in both legs. He’s been working a lot the last two days and wasn’t able to walk.”

Ohtani threw a one-hitter in the opener against the Tigers on Thursday for his first career MLB shutout, then homered twice in the second game.

Nevin said Ohtani’s soreness Friday night developed after he started the eighth.

“He came in and tried to get some work done and just kept cramping up,” Nevin said.

Ohtani was replaced by pinch hitter Michael Stefanic when his batter came up with the bases loaded in the ninth inning. Stefanic struck out and looked on a 3-2 pitch from right-hander Jordan Romano as Toronto won 4-1 to end the Angels’ four-game winning streak.

After being greeted with a loud ovation from the sellout crowd of 42,106 on Friday, Ohtani homered on the first pitch he faced and went deep in three straight at-bats over two games. He threw a one-hitter in the opener Thursday for his first career MLB shutout, then homered twice in the second game.

Ohtani’s 397-foot drive Friday came off Blue Jays right-hander Kevin Gausman. His homer streak ended when he struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch from Gausman in the third. Ohtani singled in the sixth and struck out left-hander Tim Mayza in the eighth.

Before the game, Nevin said Ohtani would get an extra day of rest before his next start, which was scheduled for next Thursday’s home game against Seattle.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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