ANAHEIM, Calif. — An exhilarating start to a historic night ended in a scare for Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani, who exited his outing after taking a Jose Abreu cleat to his left ankle in the fifth inning of a 7-4 walk-off victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
The Angels said Ohtani wasn’t removed from his outing because of injury — he had already thrown 92 pitches and had navigated a very taxing half-inning — and that he was merely sore. Ohtani said his leg felt “fine” after the game, adding that the collision “wasn’t as bad as it looked.” He will be reevaluated on Monday, according to the team.
Angels manager Joe Maddon said Ohtani won’t be in the starting lineup Monday against the visiting Houston Astros, but it doesn’t sound as if the scare will preclude Maddon from continuing to use Ohtani aggressively.
Ohtani — hitting on the same day of his start for the first time in his major league career — was left in to face Yoan Moncada with the bases loaded, two outs and his command seemingly wavering. Ohtani struck out Moncada with the seventh pitch of the at-bat, but Angels catcher Max Stassi failed to corral a splitter, ultimately prompting Ohtani to…