Shohei Ohtani struggles as Angels’ losing streak reaches 6 games

Shohei Ohtani made an abrupt departure from the mound in the sixth inning of the Angels’ 7-5 loss to the Houston Astros on Friday at Angel Stadium.

The two-way star walked the first batter of the inning, Corey Julks, prompting a mound visit from manager Phil Nevin, athletic trainer Mike Frostad and interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. Ohtani then left the mound with Frostad and Mizuhara, but remained in the game as a designated hitter.

The Angels had tied the score 4-4 heading into the sixth.

Relief pitcher Jacob Webb took over and walked the next batter, Jeremy Peña. Martin Maldonado then hit a sacrifice bunt toward first base on a play that likely could have been the start of a double play, but first baseman Mike Moustakas instead opted to jog to the bag as Julks and Peña advanced. The two runners scored on an RBI single by Mauricio Dubón.

It wasn’t the only misplay on a night that started off promising for the Angels. The Angels took a 2-0 lead in the second inning while Ohtani kept the Astros scoreless in the first three innings.

Taylor Ward hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh as the Angels (45-47) lost their sixth consecutive game and have dropped 10 of their past 11.