LEADING OFF: Ohtani’s strikeout streak, Giants’ losing skid

Jul 27, 2022, 5:28 AM | Updated: 5:29 pm
San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Yunior Marte walks off the field after being replaced during th...

San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Yunior Marte walks off the field after being replaced during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Tuesday, July 26, 2022, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks won 7-3. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

A look at what’s happening around the majors on Thursday:

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SHOHEI’S STRIKEOUTS

Los Angeles Angels two-way force Shohei Ohtani has struck out at least 10 batters in five straight starts going into this outing at home against Texas.

Ohtani (9-5, 2.80) has joined Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan as the only pitchers in Angels history to have such a streak. Ryan set a franchise-record string of seven in a row in 1977, and also a six-game run of double-digit strikeouts spanning 1972-73.

Ohtani has fanned 134 in 93 1/3 innings this season. The reigning AL MVP is 0-1 in two starts against the Rangers this year.

A GIANT SKID

Joc Pederson, Brandon Belt and San Francisco hope to regain their winning touch when they return home after an 0-7 road trip.

The Giants won five of their six games before the All-Star break, but hasn’t won since. They suffered a four-game sweep by the Dodgers in Los Angeles for the first time since 1995 over the weekend and then stumbled in Arizona.

It was the Giants’ first 0-7 road trip since 1985.

Lefty Alex Wood (6-8, 4.21 ERA) faces Cubs left-hander Justin Steele (4-6, 4.02 ERA) in the series opener.

CALLING AN ANGEL

Angels star Mike Trout has a “rare” spinal condition that could affect him for the rest of his career. But he received a cortisone injection last week and plans to play again this season.

After Angels trainer Mike Forstad talked about Trout’s condition on Wednesday, the reaction was swift — and over the top, according to the 10-time All-Star.

“I got back and my phone was blowing up: ‘My career is over,'” Trout said, smiling at the absurdity of the overreactions he had seen online. “It’s just rare for a baseball player. I just have to stay on top of it.”

Trout left a game against Houston on July 12 with what was first called back spasms, then went on the injured list a week later with what was called rib cage inflammation.

BACK IN THE BRONX

After playing their first seven games since the All-Star break on the road (four against first-place teams), major league home run leader Aaron Judge and the Yankees welcome struggling Kansas City to the Bronx.

Jameson Taillon (10-2, 3.93 ERA) pitches for New York against Brady Singer (4-3, 3.82) in the opener of a seven-game homestand. Taillon walked a season-high three in a season-low 2 2/3 innings last Friday at Baltimore. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 0.47 ERA in three career starts versus the Royals.

New York swept a three-game set in Kansas City from April 29 to May 1 and is 31-12 against the Royals since 2015, winning each of the past 12 series (minimum two games) since May 25, 2015. The Yankees are 107-46 (.699) versus Kansas City this century, their best record against any AL opponent during that span.

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LEADING OFF: Ohtani’s strikeout streak, Giants’ losing skid