Texas right-hander Bartolo

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Shohei Ohtani might not be able to pitch right now Wholesale Jaire Alexander Jersey Authentic Elite Limited - Nike Green Bay Packers Official NFL Football Shop , but he can still hit.


At least, that’s what the Los Angeles Angels are counting on as they try to get back into the American League’s wild-card race.


The two-way Japanese sensation was activated from the disabled list prior to Tuesday’s series opener against the host Seattle Mariners. Ohtani batted sixth and went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts as the Angels lost 4-1.


It was Ohtani’s first game since June 6, when he suffered a Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow


“Hopefully it’ll be a good spot (in the order) for him to hit,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia told MLB.com before the game. “But we’re also just trying to get him acclimated. You don’t want to put too much pressure where he’s to say, ‘I’ve got to do so much,’ because he’s hitting higher in the lineup. I think it’s a good spot for him to see some pitches.”


The Angels went 8-14 while Ohtani was out and dropped 11 games behind Seattle in the chase for the AL’s second and final wild-card berth.


Ohtani, who batted .289 with six home runs and 20 RBIs in his first 34 games of the season, was cleared to begin hitting last week. He took batting practice and faced live pitching in simulated games over the weekend.


“He’s not being rushed,” Scioscia said. “He had a very aggressive workout this weekend and was cleared by our medical department. He would not be playing here if he wasn’t cleared by our medical department. We’re very comfortable that he’s ready.”


When Ohtani (4-1, 3.10 ERA) will return to the mound is another question. Angels general manager Billy Eppler said last week that Ohtani would be re-evaluated in three weeks to determine whether he’d be able to pitch again this season.


The Angels didn’t announce right-hander Garrett Richards (4-4, 3.42 ERA) as Wednesday afternoon’s starter until after Tuesday’s defeat. Richards is 6-4 with a 3.05 ERA in 20 career appearances against the Mariners, including 12 starts.


Richards has already faced Seattle twice at Safeco Field this season. He beat the Mariners 5-0 on May 4 Wholesale Josh Jackson Jersey Authentic Elite Limited - Nike Green Bay Packers Official NFL Football Shop , allowing four hits in 6 2/3 innings with one walk and eight strikeouts. On June 13, he lasted just two innings in an 8-6 loss, giving up two runs on four hits.


Right-hander Mike Leake (8-4, 4.01 ERA), who has won five of his past six decisions, is scheduled to start for Seattle. He’s 3-1 with a 2.49 ERA in four career starts against the Angels. He suffered the loss in the 5-0 defeat on May 4, allowing three runs on seven hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings. But he beat Los Angeles 6-3 on June 12, allowing one run on four hits in six innings.


The Mariners have won a season-high eight straight games.


“It’s a real good run we’re on, coming off a sketchy run on the East Coast (losing five of six to the New York Yankees and Boston),” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “The guys bounced back … it’s not always pretty, but we certainly compete very well.”

Shin-Soo Choo is a game away from matching the majors’ longest on-base streak this season only because the Texas Rangers couldn’t protect a late lead in a loss to the San Diego Padres.



Choo singled with two outs in the ninth inning to reach base in his 39th straight game after Wil Myers and Hunter Renfroe hit run-scoring doubles as part of a three-run eighth that helped the Padres rally for a 3-2 win Tuesday night.


The Rangers led 2-0 when Choo struck out looking in the seventh to drop to 0 for 4. Instead of the streak ending in a win, though Wholesale Aaron Jones Jersey Authentic Elite Limited - Nike Green Bay Packers Official NFL Football Shop , Choo kept the Texas ninth alive with a liner over leaping shortstop Freddy Galvis before Brad Hand got Nomar Mazara to fly out with two runners on for his 22nd save.


”After fourth at-bat, strikeout, I wish we just finish the game,” said Choo, who is trying to match a 40-game streak by Philadelphia’s Odubel Herrera from March 30 to May 19. ”That’s a nice, clean game, 2-0. I’m not really expecting the fifth at-bat.”


Four of six San Diego hitters reached against Jake Diekman (1-1). After Myers ended the Texas shutout, Christian Villanueva lifted a tying sacrifice fly to left before Renfroe’s go-ahead liner down the line in left.


”We needed it a lot,” said Eric Hosmer, whose one-out single helped get the rally going after a leadoff walk to Travis Jankowski. ”Offensively, we haven’t been firing on all cylinders, so it was big to come from behind Wholesale Lance Kendricks Jersey Authentic Elite Limited - Nike Green Bay Packers Official NFL Football Shop , kind of steal this one.”


Rougned Odor hit a solo homer for Texas in the second and Robinson Chirinos added one in the fourth against former teammate Tyson Ross.


San Diego relievers struck out five straight batters, starting with the second of two from Matt Strahm (2-2) in the seventh. Kirby Yates fanned the side in the eighth and Hand finished the Padres’ second win in 10 games. The Rangers lost just their second in the past 10.


Austin Bibens-Dirkx gave up two hits, struck out six and walked four in five innings in his fourth start for Texas. The right-hander is in a similar fill-in role from last season, when he made his major league debut as a 32-year-old following 12 years in the minors and won five games.


”Everyone before me did their job,” Diekman said. ”My job is to get it done and I didn’t do that. That stings really hard.”


Mazara had three hits a night after leaving early for precautionary reasons because of tightness in his left hamstring.


ROSS SOLID AGAIN


Ross had another solid start in a bounce-back season after posting a 7.71 ERA for Texas last year before his late-season release in his return from surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. The right-hander gave up five hits in six innings. Ross leads San Diego starters with a 3.32 ERA.


KUDOS TO COLON


Texas right-hander Bartolo Colon was honored before the game for passing Juan Marichal for the most wins by a Dominican-born pitcher. The 45-year-old earned his 244th career win at Kansas City on the most recent road trip. Manager Jeff Banister presented him with a jersey with ”244” on the back, and a quote from Marichal was shown on the videoboard calling the milestone ”a special achievement for your career and your country.” Colon needs two wins to pass Dennis Martinez of Nicaragua for the most wins by a pitcher from Latin America.


TRAINER’S ROOM


Rangers: 1B Ronald Guzman was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list a day after the rookie’s head struck the knee of Padres third baseman Christian Villanueva when Guzman was diving back on an attempted pickoff. … LHP Martin Perez struck out nine in five scoreless innings for Class A Hickory in his first rehab start Monday. Perez has been on the DL since May 10 with right elbow discomfort. Perez had arthroscopic surgery on that elbow in December. He broke a bone in a fall after being spooked by a bull on his ranch in Venezuela.


UP NEXT


LHP Clayton Richard (7-6, 4.23 ERA) is scheduled to pitch for the Padres in the finale of the three-game series. Richard is 6-2 during a streak of nine straight starts with at least six innings, the longest active streak for a lefty in the majors. Texas LHP Mike Minor (5-4, 5.06 ERA) hasn’t allowed a homer in his past two starts after giving up at least one in each of the previous seven.