Shohei Ohtani came to the rescue for the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, delivering a clutch late-game hit that helped his team beat the Houston Astros 2-1 and avoid a four-game sweep.
The two-way star had gone 0-for-3 before ripping a go-ahead RBI double off reliever Phil Maton's 3-2 curveball with two out in the top of the eighth at Minute Maid Park.
With Zach Neto on first, Ohtani launched a fly ball that hit the right-field wall and gave the runner plenty of time to make his way home.
"I was happy to get the hit and happy to get the win," said Ohtani, whose clutch performance came a day after he went 4-for-5 and fell a homer short of the cycle.
Yainer Diaz had put the Astros in front with his fifth-inning home run before Luis Rengifo tied it with his solo blast in the sixth.
The Angels plan to give Ohtani some extra rest on the mound, pushing his start back a day to Friday against the Mariners, according to manager Phil Nevin.
At New York's Citi Field, Yusei Kikuchi outdueled compatriot Kodai Senga in their first U.S. major league battle as the Toronto Blue Jays pulled away to beat the New York Mets 6-4.
Neither pitcher got a decision but Kikuchi delivered another solid start for the Jays, striking out eight over five innings in which he allowed two runs, both on homers by Tommy Pham. The Japanese lefty gave up four total hits and walked one, leaving the game with a 4-2 lead to start the sixth.
Kikuchi said it had been "a lot of fun" going against Senga, who lasted just 2-3/3 innings in his worst start since arriving in New York.
Pitching on four days' rest for the first time in his MLB career, the Mets' Japanese starter gave up four runs, three earned, on five walks and four hits, including a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. solo home run in the third.