ANAHEIM — It was quite the encore for two-way star Shohei Ohtani.
A night after homering twice and setting a career-high with eight RBIs at the plate, Ohtani set another career high with 13 strikeouts over eight scoreless innings to help lift the Angels to a 5-0 win on Wednesday night at Angel Stadium. Unsurprisingly, Ohtani, who retired 23 of the last 24 batters he faced, became the first player in AL/NL history to have at least eight RBIs in a game and strike out at least 10 batters the next day.
“He just put us on his back,” interim manager Phil Nevin said. “It was just impressive. I thought about taking him out after the seventh but he was adamant, ‘This is mine.’ What a day, what a performance by him.”
In fact, former Braves right-hander Tony Cloninger is the only other player with a 10-strikeout game as a pitcher and an eight-RBI game as a hitter in a career. Cloninger struck out 12 on Opening Day in 1966 and later had nine RBIs, including two grand slams as a pitcher on July 3, 1966, but Cloninger never struck out 13 batters. Ohtani also became just the 19th player in Angels history with 13 strikeouts in a game and the first since Patrick Sandoval last year on July 24 against the Twins.
“There’s still the ‘wow’ factor,” said Kansas City’s Whit Merrifield. “Nobody else is doing what he’s doing.…