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Shohei Ohtani is limited to hitting these days because of an elbow injury.
He remains quite the presence for the Los Angeles Angels.
Ohtani’s two-out walk helped set up a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night in the opening game of the Freeway Series.
The Angels were down to their last strike in the ninth inning when Ohtani battled back from a 0-2 count all the way to a walk against Kenley Jansen (0-2). Ohtani then stole second and advanced to third on catcher Yasmani Grandal’s throwing error before David Fletcher hit a tying RBI single to left.
”I think it speaks to the threat Shohei is at the plate Kerry Wynn Jersey ,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ”(Jansen) is as good as there is at the back end of the game.”
It was Ohtani’s second stolen base of his rookie season. The two-way star has more time to practice other parts of the game while he is staying off the mound.
”I wasn’t absolutely going to go on the first pitch but for the hitter it’s easier to steal a base earlier in the count,” Ohtani said through an interpreter.
Ian Kinsler followed with another base hit, and Fletcher scored when Yasiel Puig’s throw skipped by Grandal for a game-ending error. Blake Parker (2-1) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.
”It was a great at-bat. (Ohtani) did what he needed to do,” Kinsler said. ”The report on Kenley is that he loses track of runners or concentrates a lot on the hitter. You have an opportunity to steal against him. Shohei took second. It was huge. We got in scoring position and obviously the throw got away. He got himself in scoring position and that’s what you’re supposed to do.”
The 108 degree temperature set a record at first pitch for a game in Anaheim. The previous record was 106, which happened in 1988 and 2007.
The Dodgers wasted a solid start by Kenta Maeda, who struck out nine in 5 2/3 innings. They had won four in a row.
”For me it’s unacceptable at 0-2 to lose him there,” Jansen said. ”I had him where I wanted to. I just feel I almost lost my feel on the fastball up in the zone. I couldn’t get it where I wanted to. That walk irritated me. I’ve got to keep my composure.”
Matt Kemp hit run-scoring singles in the fourth and sixth to help the Dodgers jump in front, but the Angels rallied in the sixth.
Kinsler and Jose Briceno opened the inning with singles. Kole Calhoun then struck out and Andrelton Simmons flied out before Mike Trout was walked intentionally, loading the bases.
Maeda then was called for a balk, allowing Kinsler to score. Justin Upton walked to load the bases again Eddie Yarbrough Jersey , and Scott Alexander struck out Albert Pujols to end the inning.
Angels starter Felix Pena, a converted reliever, allowed two runs and three hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Fletcher had faced Jansen once before in spring training. He struck out. This time he got the big hit.
”The experience was good. Obviously, when you see a pitcher more than once it can help you,” Fletcher said.
SHO-DOWN
Maeda and Japanese countryman Ohtani faced each other for the first time in Major League Baseball. Ohtani was 0 for 2 with a strikeout and a groundout. Ohtani went 2 for 7 against Maeda when the two played professional baseball in Japan.
”He was on top of his game I felt like,” Ohtani said. ”When the starting pitcher is pitching that well, to come back and win like that is big.”
TRAINER’S ROOM
Dodgers: LHP Tony Cingrani (left shoulder inflammation) threw a light bullpen of 20 to 25 pitches and then went to Arizona for more rehabilitation … RHP Walker Buehler (right rib micro fracture) threw a bullpen and will throw a five-inning simulated game Sunday morning.
UP NEXT
Dodgers: RHP Ross Stripling (6-2, 2.27 ERA) starts Saturday night. He allowed four earned runs in six innings in the Dodgers’ 6-4 win over Colorado on Sunday. It was just the second time he allowed four runs in a start this season.
Angels: RHP Deck McGuire (0-1, 8.64 ERA) lasted just 3 1/3 innings against Baltimore in his last start.

Sidney Crosby has faced the Washington Capitals three times in the playoffs. All three times the Pittsburgh captain has led his team to victory. And all three times the Penguins used the win as the springboard to a raucous mid-June parade with the Stanley Cup in tow.
Still, Crosby sounded like a cautious investor on Tuesday when asked if Pittsburgh has a mental advantage over rival Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals heading into yet another postseason showdown in the Eastern Conference semifinals starting later this week.
Past performance Sean Harlow Jersey , the two-time MVP stressed, does not guarantee future results.
”I think it depends on what you do in the series and how you play,” Crosby said. ”I don’t think it plays a huge role. I guess to answer your question, no.”
A mantra Crosby’s teammates repeated over and over they prepared for yet another showdown in a rivalry that somehow manages to be both compelling and one-sided. Pittsburgh is 9-1 all-time in the postseason against Washington regardless of who is in the black-and-gold sweaters and who is in red, white and blue.
Not that Ovechkin is intimidated. The Capitals star said he “can’t wait” to get another shot at the Penguins after spearheading Washington’s first-round win over Columbus in six games. That’s fine by Pittsburgh, which has played Lucy to Washington’s Charlie Brown for more than a quarter century, dangling a potentially deep playoff run in front of the Capitals only to pull it back at the last minute.
The Penguins, however, remain wary. Just because they always beat Washington doesn’t mean they’re going to always beat Washington. The teams split their four meetings during the regular season, with the Capitals wrapping up their third straight Metropolitan Division title with a 3-1 win in Pittsburgh on April Fool’s Day.
Of course Weston Richburg Jersey , none of it matters once the puck drops in Game 1.
”It’s a new year,” Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang said. ”The series is going to play out differently. The game is going to be won differently. You don’t know how it is going to go. The only thing I know is it’s a good rivalry, two really good teams, two teams that have a lot of punch offensively. It’s going to be fun to be a part of.”
Particularly for Letang. He missed all of Pittsburgh’s run to a second straight Stanley Cup last spring while recovering from neck surgery, though he was able to make his way to the arena for Game 7 of the conference semifinals, when Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 29 shots he faced and the Penguins escaped with a 2-0 victory to finish a series in which both teams scored 20 goals and won on opposing ice at least twice.
Though there are a handful of new faces on both sides, the principals remain the same. Ovechkin and Crosby. Evgeni Malkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Letang and Braden Holtby. Two weeks of taut, tense hockey in the offing.
”I think it’s the same old dangerous team,” Letang said. ”Like, don’t get me wrong De'Vondre Campbell Jersey , those series went the distance, they went to overtime. It was a tough matchup that could have gone either way. They cause the same problems to our team. They cause problems on the power play. They have a lot of skill. They make a lot of plays.”
Yet the Penguins have always found a way to make at least one more, though they may be at less than 100 percent when things get going. Malkin and forward Carl Hagelin both missed practice on Tuesday. Malkin is dealing with a lower-body injury while Hagelin has an upper-body issue after colliding with Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux in Pittsburgh’s clinching victory over the Flyers in Game 6.
That could provide more playing time for players like Riley Sheahan – who filled in capably on the second line for Malkin in Game 6 – and rookie Zach Aston-Reese. The 23-year-old was in high school the first time Crosby and Ovechkin met in the playoffs in 2009 – when the Penguins blitzed the Capitals in Game 7 of the conference semifinals on their way to the Cup.
This time, Aston-Reese’s view will be markedly different. He noticed an uptick in intensity from the regular season when the Penguins fended off the Flyers. Now, the dial goes up to 11 and stays there.
”I expect every game to be almost like a Game 7,” Aston-Reese said.
That’s because it almost always is.

More NHL hockey:  Womens Connor Williams Jersey
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