By Tim Booth | The Associated Press
SEATTLE — Shohei Ohtani homered in his first plate appearance since being shut down as a pitcher, Dylan Bundy struck out 10 in the third complete game of his career and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Seattle Mariners 6-1 on Thursday.
Ohtani drove a 1-0 pitch from Seattle starter Taijuan Walker to the opposite field just beyond the leap of left fielder Dee Gordon leading off the second inning. It was Ohtani’s third home run of the season, all coming against the Mariners.
The Angels shut down Ohtani’s arm for the rest of this truncated season after he strained the flexor pronator mass near the elbow. His recovery from the strain requires him to abstain from throwing for four to six weeks, which covers most of the shortened 2020 season.
Max Stassi added a two-run homer in the eighth inning, his fourth of the season.
Bundy (2-1) has been superb since his offseason arrival from Baltimore via trade. The right-hander has pitched at least six innings in all three of his starts, with 25 strikeouts and two walks in 21 2/3 innings.
Bundy allowed four hits and picked up his 10th strikeout, getting Kyle Seager leading off the ninth. His only mistake was an elevated changeup that Daniel Vogelbach lined into the right field seats for a solo home run in the fourth inning. Shed Long Jr. followed with a double, but Bundy escaped the threat and retired 17 of his final 18 batters.
It was the fifth complete game in baseball this season. Bundy lowered his ERA to 2.08.
Walker (1-2) lost command of his fastball in the fourth and failed to make it through the inning.
The home run to Ohtani was Walker’s only miscue through the first three innings, but he couldn’t spot his fastball in the fourth following Mike Trout’s leadoff single. Walker walked the next two batters, gave up Tommy La Stella’s RBI single and hit Justin Upton to force in a run.
Stassi added a sacrifice fly and Walker was finally lifted after issuing his third walk of the inning.
Both the Angels and Mariners trimmed two players from their roster ahead of Thursday’s finale. The Angels optioned RHP José Rodriguez and INF Matt Thaiss to the club’s alternate training site. Seattle optioned RHP Bryan Shaw and IF/OF José Marmolejos to its alternate training site. All teams had to reduce their rosters from 30 players to 28 on Thursday.
Mariners lefty Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 4.66) gets the start tonight as Seattle begins a three-game interleague series with Colorado. Kikuchi was excellent his last start, throwing six shutout innings with nine strikeouts against Oakland.