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Shohei Ohtani gives up 7 runs against Rockies

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

By JOSE M. ROMERO

Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Shohei Ohtani was rocked for seven runs over 1 1/3 innings in his second major league spring training start for the Los Angeles Angels, allowing long home runs to Colorado's Ian Desmond and Nolan Arenado that went over the left-field berm on Friday.

The 23-year-old Japanese two-way star made his first big league exhibition appearance since Feb. 24, when he pitched 1 1/3 innings against Milwaukee and gave up Keon Broxton's home run leading off the second.

Against the Rockies, he walked NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon leading off and allowed Arenado's one-out single before escaping a first-inning jam.

Desmond homered starting the second, Ohtani hit Chris Iannetta with a pitch, Mike Tauchman singled and Jordan Patterson loaded the bases when his popup dropped for a single.

Blackmon hit a two-run single, DJ LeMahieu reached on a run-scoring infield single for a 4-0 lead and Arenado hit a three-run homer. Ohtani struck out Trevor Story for the second time and was removed on a second mound visit in the inning after allowing seven hits.

Ohtani gave up six runs and five hits in three innings of a non-counting game against the Tijuana Toros of Mexico. In that game, he threw two wild pitches and hit two batters.

Ohtani struck out six against Tijuana and eight on March 2 in a "B" game against the Brewers, which was his best performance. He gave up two runs in 2 2/3 innings against Milwaukee.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia was asked before the game if Ohtani was guaranteed a major league roster spot regardless of what he does in spring training.

"We're not going to get into roster decisions," Scioscia said. "I can only say that Shohei's talent is real. Obviously we believe in it. We anticipate him being ready to both pitch and hit when the season starts and we're going to work hard to reach that goal from now until we start the season."

Scioscia had hoped for four or five innings and around 75 pitches.

"We're looking at the process," Scioscia said. "We're looking at, on the pitching end, his pitch execution. If that's a little bit off is it a mechanical issue, is it just a release point issue. Spin rates, things like this that we know Shohei is capable of. That's how we're measuring him, and he's measuring where we would expect him to be. So we're not measuring him on ERA. We're not measuring him on how many guys he strikes out. There's different components of the lens we're looking at and it's all about that process."

Notes: 1B-DH Albert Pujols was given a "recharge day," Scioscia said, and was not with the team. ... OF Mike Trout was inducted into the Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame in a pregame ceremony. He played for the Scottsdale Scorpions in 2011.

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Updated March 16, 2018

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