By BRIAN HALL The Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS — Taylor Ward homered twice and Shohei Ohtani took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, helping the Angels beat the Minnesota Twins, 4-2, on a cool, rainy Friday night.
Ohtani seemed to have trouble adjusting to the weather conditions, tying his career high with six walks. He also hit a batter in the first, when Minnesota scored without a hit, but he managed his way through five-plus innings to earn his fourth straight win.
Ohtani (14-8) allowed two runs and struck out seven to reach 203 Ks on the season, reaching 200 for the first time in his career. He’s the first player in MLB history to have 200 strikeouts and hit at least eight home runs in the same season.
Ohtani added an RBI single in the seventh for the Angels. Ryan Tepera got three outs for his fourth save.
The Twins (73-78) lost for the eighth time in nine games. The team also announced that All-Star outfielder Byron Buxton is done for the season and will have surgery on his troublesome right knee.
Luis Arraez singled with two outs in the fifth for Minnesota’s first hit of the game.
Rookie Louie Varland (0-2), a Minnesota native making his first MLB start in his home state, gave up three runs in 5-2/3 innings in his third career start for the Twins.
The first-pitch temperature was 53 degrees and rain fell throughout the early innings. The grounds crew had to repair the mound several times but the game was never delayed.
Ohtani settled down after a shaky first, allowing just three baserunners over the next four innings. At one point, he struck out five batters in a row before Arraez’s hit to the opposite field with the infield shifted.
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The first four batters reached in the sixth, and Jake Cave singled in Nick Gordon for Minnesota’s second run. But Aaron Loup relieved Ohtani and got a strikeout and a double play to end the threat.
Ward hit solo drives in the second and sixth for 21 homers on the season, marking his first season with at least 20 homers.
Angels (LHP Reid Detmers, 6-5, 3.71 ERA) at Twins (RHP Joe Ryan, 12-8, 3.61 ERA), Saturday, 4:10 p.m., Bally Sports West, 830 AM
More to come on this story.