ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Angels phenom Shohei Ohtani took a no-hitter into the eighth inning Thursday night against the Oakland Athletics before Conner Capel singled with two outs to break it up.
Capel hit a sharp grounder that deflected off sliding shortstop Livan Soto’s glove and into left-center field. Even if Soto had been able to field it, he would have had trouble throwing out Capel.
Dermis Garcia followed with a clean single to left before Ohtani retired Shea Langeliers on a grounder to third to end the inning. The Angels lead 4-0.
The two-way superstar from Japan also extended his hitting streak to 14 games with an RBI single in the first. It is the longest current streak in the majors.
The right-hander issued a leadoff walk to Tony Kemp before retiring the next 22 batters in order. After walking Kemp, Ohtani struck out Vimael Machín and got Sean Murphy to ground into a double play.
Ohtani allowed two hits with 10 strikeouts through eight scoreless innings. He also went eight innings in a no-decision against Houston on Sept. 3.
After winning the AL MVP award last season, Ohtani is a leading contender again this year — probably the top challenger to New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, who hit his 61st home run Wednesday night to match the American League record set by Roger Maris in 1961.
Ohtani had a perfect game through 5 1/3 innings at Houston on April 20 before Jason Castro lined a single to left field in the sixth. It was Houston’s only hit in the game.
Ohtani was trying for the Angels’ second no-hitter of the season. Los Angeles rookie Reid Detmers did it against Tampa Bay on May 10.
There have been two other no-hitters this season, with five New York Mets pitchers combining against Philadelphia on April 29, and three Houston Astros hurlers against the New York Yankees on June 25.
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