Verlander fans Ohtani to reach 2,500 strikeout milestone

Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros pitches during the ninth inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on May 16, 2018 in Anaheim, California. —  Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images/AFP pic
Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros pitches during the ninth inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on May 16, 2018 in Anaheim, California. — Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images/AFP pic

LOS ANGELES, May 17 — Right hander Justin Verlander fanned Japan’s Shohei Ohtani for his seventh and final one of the night to join the 2,500 strikeout club, as the Houston Astros blanked the Los Angeles Angels 2-0.

The pitcher threw his first shutout in three years last night, allowing just five hits for the Astros who snapped a modest two-game losing skid.

Verlander improved to 5-2 on the season as he walked just one for his 24th career complete game.

With two runners on in the final inning, he got Zack Cozart to fly out to end the game, earning his first shutout since he did it with the Detroit Tigers in 2015.

Mike Trout, Ohtani and Justin Upton combined to go zero-for-12 at the plate for the Angels. Ohtani struck out three times.

Two-way rookie phenom Ohtani went zero-for-four, including striking out on three pitches to begin the ninth inning to give Verlander the 2,500th strikeout of his career.

Verlander is the 33rd Major League Baseball pitcher to record 2,500 strikeouts. Nolan Ryan leads the all-time list with 5,714 strikeouts.

It was Ohtani’s first hitless start in two weeks.

Some major league pitchers might be starting to figure out the rookie.

Before yesterday’s game, Verlander spent considerable time watching film in the clubhouse of Ohtani hitting and then discussed strategy with the Astros coaches and teammates. — AFP

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