February 3, 2023

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Ohtani's fastball velo returns in a big way 

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ARLINGTON — Shohei Ohtani left some of his best stuff out on the mound on Wednesday, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Angels were swept for the first time this season in an 6-5 loss to the Rangers in 10 innings at Globe Life Field.

During his last start on May 11 against the Rays, Ohtani’s fastball topped out at just 93.3 mph in his final inning and averaged 96 mph, which was down from his season average of 97.2 mph at the time. But against the Rangers, his fastball averaged 98.6 mph and maxed out at 100.8 mph.

Overall, Ohtani turned in six innings and allowed six hits and two runs while walking two and striking out seven. Three of those hits were given up to Jonah Heim, who seems to have a leg up on the reigning American League MVP.

The Rangers’ catcher is 5-for-5 with one double, a grand slam and seven RBIs through two meetings with Ohtani this season. Heim went 3-for-3 with two RBIs — the only two runs Ohtani allowed — and tied the game at 2 in the sixth on Wednesday.

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