LEADING OFF: Top pitchers Strasburg, Tanaka, Ohtani ailingLos Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani, third from right, is removed from the baseball game against the Kansas City Royals during the fifth inning in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, June 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
It was the second time this season Ohtani left a game due to a blister on his right middle finger. He gave up three runs in two innings before exiting against Boston on April 17, but did not miss his next turn in the rotation.
This time, Ohtani allowed one run on four hits and three walks during Los Angeles' 4-3 win over the Kansas City Royals. He struck out four but did not get a decision.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia did not believe Ohtani's blister was as bad as the one against the Red Sox. However, the skipper refused to commit when asked if Ohtani would be able to make his next start as scheduled.
The two-way rookie star from Japan warmed up to start the fifth inning, but catcher Martin Maldonado called for a trainer. Scioscia also went to the mound to check on Ohtani, who eventually walked back to the dugout.
''Bottom line is he started to feel it and it was time to get him out,'' Scioscia said.
Scioscia grew concerned when Ohtani's secondary pitches started to become less effective in the third and fourth.
''When we came in, you could just see the beginnings of (a blister) and we obviously didn't want it to get past that,'' Scioscia said.
Royals manager Ned Yost was still impressed seeing Ohtani up close, praising his ability to mix pitches even as the blister became an issue.
''He was throwing his fastball 97, 98 mph, with a good slider and a good split. I'd sure hate to see him when he's at his best,'' Yost said.
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