Shohei Ohtani

Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani cleared to begin throwing

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USATSI

Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani cleared to begin throwing

ANAHEIM — The Los Angeles Angels say two-way star Shohei Ohtani’s elbow ligament is continuing to heal and he has been medically cleared to begin a throwing progression.

The team said Ohtani was given a six-week evaluation Thursday by Dr. Steve Yoon at the Kerlan Jobe Institute. The Angels said they would release specifics about his progress and rehabilitation schedule at another time.

Ohtani was placed on the disabled list with an ulnar collateral ligament sprain on June 8 after complaining about tightness in his right elbow following a June 6 start against Kansas City. The Japanese sensation has since returned to the roster as a designated hitter, but his prospects to pitch remain unclear.

He is hitting .283 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs. On the mound, Ohtani won four of his first five decisions before getting injured.

Shohei Ohtani wrapped up best week in baseball history against A's

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USATSI

Shohei Ohtani wrapped up best week in baseball history against A's

It's been nearly 100 years since we've seen anyone come even close to doing what Shohei Ohtani has done already this season.

The 23-year-old Angels rookie from Japan has taken Major League Baseball by storm, with his bat and his arm.

On Sunday, Ohtani capped off arguably the greatest week in baseball history, carrying a perfect game into the seventh inning, and striking out 12 Oakland A's in seven scoreless frames to improve to 2-0 as a pitcher.

That performance followed a three-game stretch that saw Ohtani go 6-for-13 at the plate with three home runs and seven RBI. If MLB awarded individual hitter and pitcher of the week awards, he would likely win both.

The numbers are truly staggering. As a pitcher, Ohtani's two wins are tied for the most in MLB, while his three home runs are tied for fifth among all hitters.

He has 18 strikeouts, fifth-most in baseball, while ranking seventh in the American League with a .389 batting average.

Ohtani's 2.08 ERA is better than Justin Verlander and Corey Kluber. His .889 slugging percentage ranks higher than Kris Bryant, Mike Trout, and Aaron Judge.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ohtani is just the third player in MLB history to record two wins and hit three home runs in his team's first 10 games of a season, and the first to do it since Jim Shaw in 1919.

While Ohtani's numbers at the plate may drop off as opposing pitchers continue to scout him and discover his weak spots, he appears to be unhittable on the mound. On Sunday, he painted the corners with his 99 mph fastball, while his splitter forced 16 swings and misses out of 21 pitches. Mix in a nasty curveball and you can see why he only allowed one hit in seven innings.

Before even beginning his MLB career, Ohtani was dubbed the “Japanese Babe Ruth,” an impossible nickname to live up to. Incredibly, Ohtani hasn't just lived up to the hype, he has exceeded it.

Ohtani takes perfect game into seventh inning, dominates A's with one-hitter

Ohtani takes perfect game into seventh inning, dominates A's with one-hitter

BOX SCORE

ANAHEIM -- Shohei Ohtani retired the Oakland Athletics' first 19 batters and yielded one hit over seven shutout innings in his home pitching debut, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 6-1 victory Sunday.

Marcus Semien's clean one-out single to left broke up Ohtani's bid for a perfect game, and the two-way Japanese sensation finished the inning for a bravura performance with 12 strikeouts.

Ohtani (2-0) struck out the side twice during the latest feat in a series of early-season superlatives by the 23-year-old Japanese prodigy.

He won his pitching debut in Oakland last weekend with six strong innings. He homered in three consecutive games in Anaheim between starts in his attempt to become the first regular two-way player in decades.

He was sharp from the beginning on a gorgeous day in Orange County, striking out the side in the first inning on 15 pitches while mixing 99 mph heat with 80 mph splitters and precipitous curveballs.

Ohtani struck out the side again in the fifth inning, and he fanned every Oakland batter except Jonathan Lucroy at least once.

Jed Lowrie drew a four-pitch walk after Semien's single, but Ohtani ended the threat by inducing Khris Davis' weak groundout and striking out Matt Olson. He left the mound to the last of several standing ovations from his enthralled new fans in the sellout crowd - an unheard-of gathering at Angel Stadium in April.

Mike Trout and Ryan Schimpf homered, and Albert Pujols had an RBI double in the Angels' seventh win in nine games.

Kendall Graveman (0-2) gave up five hits and four walks while failing to get out of the fourth inning for the A's, who have lost seven of 10. Matt Joyce homered in the ninth.

Trout scored his 700th run in the first inning on Pujols' double down the left-field line. Trout joined a club of nine players in baseball history, including Pujols, who had 200 homers and 700 runs scored before their age-27 season.

Trout connected for 440-homer over the ficus trees in center field in the third inning, snapping an 0-for-15 skid on Los Angeles' homestand. The two-time AL MVP added a bloop RBI single in the fourth to chase Graveman.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Athletics: Oakland put OF Boog Powell on the 10-day DL with a right knee sprain in a move retroactive to Saturday. Mark Canha was recalled from Triple-A Nashville. Powell will return to Oakland for an MRI on Monday. He was injured Friday, when he crashed into the wall and later got his spikes stuck in the dirt while running the bases.

Angels: Los Angeles put a starting pitcher on the DL for the third time this season, leaving the club with three starters and 10 relievers on its 25-man roste. J.C. Ramirez went on the 10-day list with a right elbow strain after lasting just two innings and walking five A's in his loss Saturday night. Andrew Heaney and Matt Shoemaker also are out. The Angels replenished their bullpen by optioning Akeel Morris, who pitched 2 1/3 solid innings in relief of Ramirez, and recalling right-handers Felix Pena and Eduardo Paredes from Triple-A Salt Lake.

UP NEXT

Athletics: After a day off in Los Angeles, Sean Manaea (0-1, 1.15 ERA) takes the mound at Dodger Stadium to open a two-game interleague series. He threw eight innings of stellar one-run ball against Texas in his last start.

Angels: Garrett Richards (1-0, 5.06 ERA) takes the mound Monday when Los Angeles opens a road trip against the Texas Rangers. The long-injured righty hasn't pitched against the Angels' AL West rivals in Arlington since May 1, 2016.