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Ohtani misses 6th straight game as Angels place infielder Luis Rengifo on injured list

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Los Angeles Angels

Sep 4, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels right fielder Luis Rengifo (2) runs after hitting a single against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Much like wins, any optimism of players returning for Phil Nevin and the Los Angeles Angels are in short supply.

Shohei Ohtani missed his sixth straight game due to a right strained oblique as the Angels hosted the Cleveland Guardians Saturday night.

Before the game, infielder Luis Rengifo was placed on the injured list due to a season-ending rupture of his left biceps tendon. Rengifo suffered the injury while taking a swing in the on-deck circle during the first inning Thursday night.

Rengifo, who was batting .264, had been the Angels’ best hitter over the past month. He was on a 14-game hitting streak along with a .443 batting average with five homers and 14 RBIs in his last 16 games.

“The first half of the season I felt a little off, but I found my rhythm,” Rengifo said. “I’m a little frustrated because I want to be out there and play, but it happens. That’s kind of the point where I am at now.”

Ohtani took some swings on Friday, but still didn’t feel comfortable enough to be able to go at full strength in a game. Nevin said it was questionable whether Ohtani would play on Sunday, but was hopeful for Monday’s game in Seattle.

“If there’s tentativeness letting it go then you can’t bring it out into a game,” Nevin said.

Center fielder Mickey Moniak missed his third straight game due to back tightness and is day-to-day according to Nevin.

Three-time AL MVP Mike Trout is doing some dry swings, while $245 million third baseman Anthony Rendon continues to ramp up his baseball activities. Trout has missed 55 games due to a left hamate fracture, while Rendon has been out for 82 games, including the last 52 due to a bruised left shin.

Los Angeles has dropped seven of its eight games in September. Its 9-26 mark since Aug. 1 is the worst in the majors.