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Shohei Ohtani dominates for 7 innings as Angels beat Rockies

ANAHEIM — Shohei Ohtani’s last pitch of the night was his hardest, a 99.7 mph fastball on pitch No. 99, which he punctuated with an emphatic fist pump as he struck out the last batter of the seventh inning.

It was the cherry on top of another outstanding pitching performance for the two-way star, who gave up one run in seven innings in the Angels’ 6-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.

Ohtani also drove in a run and scored a run in the first, and Jack Mayfield provided two insurance runs in the seventh, with his third home run in five games.

On a night when the Angels won their third straight, there was one potentially troubling development. Jared Walsh left the game after the seventh inning, although there was no immediate word what was wrong with him.

The night belonged to Ohtani, whose remarkable season continued with his third straight strong game since that nightmarish outing when he didn’t get out of the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Ohtani has a 1.35 ERA over 20 innings since then. He has lowered his season ERA to 3.04.

The only run Ohtani allowed on Monday night was a homer to Dom Nuñez on a hanging slider in the fifth.

For the most part, Ohtani’s slider was his go-to pitch on the night. He threw 27 sliders among his 99 pitches, his third-highest percentage for the pitch this season.

Before the game, Manager Joe Maddon talked about how Ohtani is able to change his pitch mix from game to game better than most pitchers.

“He actually creates during the game,” Maddon said. “He knows ‘My slider is good today. My cutter’s good. I’m not feeling my split today.’ He makes adjustments in the game constantly that most guys can’t do. He has a bunch of different pitches to draw from, and he will go with the one that he feels most comfortable with, with good results. It’s a very unusual method.”

Ohtani’s performance continued an encouraging trend for the Angels, whose starters have a 3.13 ERA in July.

They also had their starter finish at least seven innings in three straight games for the first time all season. Up until Sunday, they hadn’t even had their starter go seven in two straight games.

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