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Shohei Ohtani of Los Angeles Angels collects 2 walks, RBI in DH debut

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PEORIA, Ariz. — Shohei Ohtani displayed a blend of patience and aggressiveness in his designated hitter debut with the Los Angeles Angels. At the end of the day, he had a 1.000 on base percentage, his first Cactus League hit, and something small to build upon.

Two days after his first outing as a starter, Ohtani was in the starting lineup for the Angels in a road game against the San Diego Padres. He walked in his first two plate appearances before jumping on the first pitch from reliever Michael Mariot and hitting a hard ground RBI single up the middle in the top of the fifth inning. Manager Mike Scioscia called for a pinch runner, and Ohtani received a warm ovation from the sparse crowd at Peoria Sports Complex on his way back to the dugout.

“I was able to see a lot of pitches and that was really good,” Ohtani said. “I just want to keep it going. I’m seeing the ball pretty well right now. Hopefully, I can have better at-bats. I think this goes for almost every player, but my hitting is always ahead of my pitching at this point in the year. It’s just like any other year.”

The Angels are trying to devise a comfortable and workable routine as Ohtani pursues his goal of making an impact as a two-way player. His primary focus will be as a member of a six-man starting rotation, but he is also expected to contribute as a DH.

The atmosphere was considerably more low-key than in Ohtani’s pitching debut Saturday, when he struggled with his control over 1 1/3 innings in a 6-5 loss to Milwaukee. A crowd of 6,019 was on hand in Tempe for that game, and Ohtani had trouble keeping his delivery in sync while throwing 17 strikes and 14 balls.

Ohtani batted second in the order between center fielder Eric Young Jr. and shortstop David Fletcher on Monday. Scioscia, citing the unusually early start to spring training this year, has yet to play Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Justin Upton or any of Los Angeles’ other high-profile regulars.

Ohtani fell behind 0-2 against right-hander Jordan Lyles in his first at-bat, then laid off four straight pitches out of the strike zone for a walk. He walked again on five pitches against lefty Buddy Baumann before facing Mariot, a righty reliever with 44 career appearances in Philadelphia and Kansas City. Ohtani drove a fastball through the box to score Young and give the Angels a 4-1 lead before calling it a day.

“I was happy to get that first hit out of the way,” Ohtani said, “but I was also happy with my first two at-bats. I got to see a lot of pitches. And I got to see a righty and a lefty. I felt like I had three good at-bats, including the first two.

“One of the reasons I saw so many pitches my first two at-bats is that I just wanted to see the difference in the strike zones between Japan and the States. I felt like I accomplished that. Plus, there was a runner in scoring position so I just wanted to be aggressive.”

While the Angels have yet to outline a specific workload for Ohtani, his last healthy season in Japan could provide a bit of a roadmap. In 2016, Ohtani threw 140 innings and logged 323 at-bats as an outfielder for the Nippon Ham Fighters. Last year, his workload was curtailed by injuries and he made only five starts as a pitcher and hit .332 with a .942 OPS for the Fighters.

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Follow live: Bellinger, Dodgers seek 2-0 series lead

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Los Angeles Dodgers’ Game 1 win of World Series draws record-low viewers

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ARLINGTON, Texas — The Los Angeles Dodgers‘ victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 drew a record-low audience of television viewers for a World Series game.

Los Angeles’ 8-3 win received a 5.1 rating and was seen by an average of 9,195,000 viewers on Fox from 8:06 p.m. to 11:41 p.m. EDT on Tuesday night, Nielsen Media Research said Wednesday.

The previous low had been set the only other time the Rays were in the World Series, when their 5-4 loss to Philadelphia in Game 3 in 2008 was viewed by an average of 9,836,000 that Oct. 25, a Saturday night.

Until now, the low for a Game 1 had been San Francisco’s 7-1 win over Kansas City on Oct. 21, 2012, viewed by an average of 12,191,000 on a Tuesday night.

Washington’s 5-4 victory over Houston in last year’s opener was seen by an average of 12,283,000 on Oct. 22, also a Tuesday night.

Still, Fox won the prime-time evening with its best performance on a Tuesday night since Game 6 of last year’s World Series.

The rating is the percentage of television households tuned in to a broadcast.

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Tampa Bay Rays add two lefty hitters to lineup for Game 2

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Austin Meadows is leading off as the designated hitter for Tampa Bay and first baseman Ji-Man Choi is in the cleanup spot for the Rays in Game 2 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

With rookie right-hander Tony Gonsolin on the mound for the Dodgers on Wednesday night, the left-handed hitters Meadows and Choi were in the lineup after not starting the series opener against lefty Clayton Kershaw. The Rays had five left-handers in the batting order.

Left-hander Blake Snell, the 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner, is starting for the Rays after right-hander Tyler Tyler Glasnow opened Game 1.

Kike Hernandez, who entered Tuesday’s 8-3 Dodgers win as a pinch-hitter after Glasnow was out of the game, is getting the Game 2 start at second base. Chris Taylor moves to left field, with AJ Pollock the DH and Will Smith the catcher after being the DH in Game 1.

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