Two-way star Shohei Ohtani has been only a one-way performer for the Los Angeles Angeles this season, as he recovers from Tommy John surgery to his pitching arm.
But one-way can be enough, as demonstrated on Saturday in Chicago. He went 5-for-5, driving in five runs – including a three-run home run – as he led the Angels to an 8-7 victory over the White Sox.
“The last few days he’s picked it up,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “He had struggled there for a bit. He started working on some stuff trying to clean up the mechanics in his swing. He seems to be reaping the benefits of it — we’re reaping the benefits of it.”
The Angels built a 7-2 lead early, but – as happened a lot recently – the Halos had to struggle to hang on to the edge. The Chisox scored two in the seventh and three in the seventh.
What proved to be the deciding run was Kevan Smith’s homer in the seventh, his fourth round-tripper of the season.
As for Ohtani, his dinger was his 17th of the year. He’s now batting .293 with 60 RBIs from the DH spot.
Starter Andrew Heaney (4-6) had a mixed start, working six innings and giving up six hits and four runs. However, he struck out eight batters and walked none.
The Angels (67-76) now have won two in a row. They’ll try to make it three today (Sunday) in Chicago with Jaime Barra (4-7) making the start for the Orange County team.