Shohei Ohtani is throwing tips? Joe Maddon promises to be more “vigilant” after a loss. | MLB

NEW YORK — The house Ruth built was a house of horrors for modern-day baseball babe Ruth.

Two-way Angels star Shohei Ohtani was battered for four runs and eight hits in more than three innings of a 6-1 loss to the New York Yankees in Game 1 of a split doubleheader on Thursday, the seventh straight loss for the Angels and 11th in 14 games.

The lackluster start to baseball’s second annual Lou Gehrig Day was actually an upgrade from Ohtani’s first game in the Bronx, which says a lot about the right-hander’s performance here.

Ohtani failed to make it out of the first inning of his highly anticipated Yankee Stadium debut on June 30, when he was rocked for seven runs and two hits, walked four and struck out one in a game where the Angels came back and won 11-8 with a ninth in seven points.

In two career starts here, Ohtani has been torched for 11 earned runs and 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings, striking out three and walking five.

“Two games is a small sample,” Ohtani said, speaking through an interpreter, of his struggles at Yankee Stadium. “I don’t think pressure has much to do with it. I just need to make my introductions.

Ohtani threw 75 pitches, 51 for strikes, on Thursday and his average fastball speed of 97.5 mph was actually an increase from his season average of 97 mph. But his high-octane stuff was useless against the Yankees, who swung and missed just three of those pitches and committed 28 more.

“It’s very unusual,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said of the three swinging strikes. “They’re really good at reading pitches.”

Maddon didn’t accuse the Yankees of stealing signs, but he suggested Ohtani may have tipped the scales.

“I’m not accusing anyone of anything except that they’re good at it,” Maddon said. “If you’re able to acquire things through natural means, I’m all for it. I think that’s great. …

“There are things pitchers can do that other teams pick up on. And when you have a group of guys who are good at it, you get an edge. We just have to be more vigilant.

When asked if he could have tipped, Ohtani laughed and said, “I’m not sure. You should probably ask the other side.

Yankees first player Matt Carpenter set the tone in the first when he fouled seven of 11 pitches in a batting marathon that ended with his home run to right field. Gleyber Torres homered two out to left field for a 2-0 lead.

Ohtani escaped a second and third jam with one out in the second when he knocked out Marwin Gonzalez at second and Carpenter on the ground at second. But Aaron Judge started the third with his 19th major league home run, a 405 shot to left field that left his bat at 109.9 mph, for a 3-0 lead.

When Aaron Hicks and Jose Trevino opened the fourth with singles, Maddon fired Ohtani in favor of southpaw Jose Quijada, who gave up an RBI brace to Gonzalez that made it 4-0.

Quijada avoided further damage by taking out Carpenter and, after an intentional walk to Judge to load the bases, taking out Rizzo and flying Torres to the left.

The afternoon didn’t improve for Ohtani, who stayed in the game as the designated hitter, or for the Angels.

Ohtani hit a one-out single in the fifth and was picked on first base by Yankees left-hander Nestor Cortes, who allowed five hits and struck out seven in seven scoreless innings to move to 5-1 with a 1.50 MPM. Ohtani also struck in the eighth and snorted again in the ninth to end the game.

Angels reliever Jhonathan Diaz gave up a home run to DJ LeMahieu to open the fifth that made it 5-0 and a single to Hicks.

Trevino followed with a hard jump off the mound that headed straight for second baseman Luis Rengifo, but the likely double-play grounder hit second base umpire Chris Guccione and headed for first base for a single.

Right fielder Taylor Ward couldn’t correlate Gonzalez’s drive with a leaping catch to the wall, the single loading the bases. Miguel Andujar’s sacrificial volley at center pushed the Yankees to 6-0.

Ward singled, walked second on Matt Duffy’s walk and scored on Rengifo’s single to the left to cut New York’s lead to 6-1. Max Stassi walked to charge the bases for Jared Walsh, whose closer grand slam Aroldis Chapman scored that seven-point ninth in last year’s comeback victory.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone called up left-hander Wandy Peralta, who sent Walsh flying to left field, ending the inning.

A rain delay of one hour and 28 minutes before the start of the ninth inning did not prevent Peralta from finishing the match. The reliever threw a scoreless ninth.

©2022 Los Angeles Times. Go to latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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