Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani will look to continue his hot hitting against the Texas Rangers when they meet in the middle game of their three-game series at Angel Stadium on Tuesday.
Ohtani, a Japanese rookie who successfully pitched for the Angels before ligament damage in his throwing elbow shut him down, hit a solo home run in the series opener on Monday night. The Angels went on to win 5-4 on a walk-off home run by pinch hitter Jose Briceno in the 11th inning, the sixth home run in the game.
The sixth walk-off win of the season for the Angels (76-81), and first since July 27, ended a five-game losing streak that included four straight games in which the opposition scored in double figures and saw the Angels allow 56 runs.
Ohtani went 1-for-5 on Monday and is hitting .327 with five home runs, four doubles and 11 RBIs in 15 games against Texas (66-90) this season.
Ohtani is 2-for-4 with two doubles off veteran right-hander Yovani Gallardo, the scheduled starter for the Rangers on Tuesday.
Gallardo (8-6. 6.59) has made 16 starts this season. He went 7-1 from June 23 to August 8, but is 1-5 in his past seven outings, losing his past three.
Gallardo will start on six days rest following a 4-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays last Tuesday. He went five innings in that game, allowing three runs and eight hits.
Gallardo is 0-2 in his career against the Angels with a 6.75 ERA. He faced them at Angel Stadium on Sept. 12 and was pulled after allowing six runs and six hits in three innings of the 8-1 loss.
Gallardo told MLB.com after his last start that he wants to finish the season strong.
"This year has been a grind for all of us," he said. "Had some rough outings and good outings, I've shown I have been able to go out and compete and still have it. This game, you never stop learning no matter how much service time you have. You keep making adjustments. I feel good, my body feels great. The next few outings finish strong and go from there."
The offense is averaging 7.54 runs when Gallardo is on the mound, but they've supplied just 10 runs in his past seven starts.
Matt Shoemaker is scheduled to start for the Angels.
Shoemaker (2-2, 5.48) is 4-2 with a 4.91 ERA in seven career starts against Texas. He faced the Rangers on Sept. 3 in Texas and threw five shutout innings in his first outing since March but did not receive the decision in the 3-1 victory.
He struggled in his most recent outing, allowing five runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings of a 21-3 loss to the Oakland A's on Thursday, the worst loss in franchise history.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia told MLB.com that Shoemaker is trying to regain his touch after missing five months with a forearm injury.
"There's going to be some rough spots here or there," Scioscia said. "He's, at times, pitching very well, and at times, he's missing his spots, getting behind and making mistakes. But the stuff is there, no doubt. Maybe the command isn't as consistent as we know it can be with Matt."