CHICAGO – Two-way star Shohei Ohtani homered for the third straight game after learning he probably will need Tommy John surgery, launching a three-run shot to cap the Los Angeles Angels’ four-run third inning in a 5-2 victory over the White Sox on Friday night.
Shut down as a pitcher because of the right elbow problem, Ohtani hit his 19th homer of the season to break a tie with Kenji Johjima for the most by a Japanese rookie in the majors.
Ohtani, in the lineup as the designated hitter, has four homers in his past three games. Before the game against the Sox, Ohtani said he plans to finish the season as the DH and hasn’t decided yet if he’ll have Tommy John surgery.
Andrelton Simmons added a solo shot in the seventh, and Felix Pena pitched seven strong innings to help the Angels win for the third time in their past four. Pena (2-4) allowed two runs while scattering seven hits and walking none. The righty fanned six.
Avisail Garcia hit a solo shot as the Sox’s DH after missing four games with a sore right knee. Omar Narvaez drove in a run with a single.
The Sox’s Carlos Rodon (6-5) lasted only 42/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits and five walks. It was the left-hander’s second straight rocky outing following a run of nine straight quality starts when he was 5-0 with a 1.84 ERA.
Ohtani’s homer off Rodon was his second against a left-hander.
Garcia homered to center to lead off the second to give the Sox a 1-0 lead.
The Angels capitalized on Rodon’s wildness in the third. Rodon walked Kole Calhoun and David Fletcher, and then hit Mike Trout with a pitch to load the bases.
Justin Upton hit a sac fly to center to plate the Angels first run, then Ohtani drove Rodon’s 2-0 pitch just over the center field fence as Adam Engel jumped high and narrowly missed catching it.
The Sox cut it to 4-2 in the fourth when Narvaez single in a run. Simmons homered to left-center off Aaron Bummer in the seventh.
Jose Alvarez pitched a scoreless eight and Ty Buttrey tossed a perfect ninth for his first career save.