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‘Electric’ Shane McClanahan outduels Shohei Ohtani

Notes | The lefty from USF strikes out a career-high-matching 11 over seven shutout innings.
Rays starter Shane McClanahan threw seven shutout innings, allowing only three hits while striking out a career-high-matching 11.
Rays starter Shane McClanahan threw seven shutout innings, allowing only three hits while striking out a career-high-matching 11. [ MARK J. TERRILL | AP ]
Published May 12|Updated May 12

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Another day, another dominant start for Shane McClanahan.

The left-hander from USF outdueled the much more famous Shohei Ohtani on Wednesday, putting his Rays in position to — eventually — put a good finish on their 10-game road trip with a 4-2, 10-inning win.

McClanahan threw seven shutout innings, allowing only three hits while striking out a career-high-matching 11. Ohtani went six innings, allowing one run and striking out five.

“He was outstanding,” manager Kevin Cash said of McClanahan. “Electric. He continues to back up every outing, outing, outing with just strong performances, gives us a chance to win.”

McClanahan, as usual, praised his teammates for their help.

“I felt like I mixed (my pitches) pretty well (Wednesday),” he said. “Ultimately, I always want to get soft contact and let my defense work, because I can’t speak enough about how good that defense is behind me. Lot of great plays.”

Angels manager Joe Maddon also was impressed, in many ways.

“That’s pretty special stuff right there,” he said. “Big fastball, but not only that, he really commands his off- speed pitches extremely well. He’s good. With good health, that kid’s going to be very good for a long period of time. It’s not just about that high (strikeout) number. He’s a good pitcher. He pitches really well.”

No Bull, two USF pitchers match up

In what is believed to be a first, two former USF pitchers matched up in a big-league game, when Angels reliever Jimmy Herget (a Jefferson High product) came on in the seventh and McClanahan was still pitching. Herget was ahead of McClanahan at USF, so they didn’t play together but had a connection before Wednesday’s historic meeting. “That’s pretty cool,” McClanahan said. “I know Jimmy, he’s a good person, love the guy to death.”

The Shohei showdown

Rays outfielder Brett Phillips came out ahead in the next round of what he called the “very highly anticipated matchup” of “the American Shohei versus the Japanese Shohei.” Pitching to Ohtani in mop-up duty Monday, Phillips claimed victory after holding him to a double. With the roles oddly reversed Wednesday, Phillips hit off Ohtani, drawing a walk his first time up and singling in his second (snapping an 0-for-19 streak), advancing both times on wild pitches. As Ohtani headed off the mound, Phillips said something that got a smile.

About Tuesday night

In being no-hit for the sixth time in their 25-season history, the Rays on Tuesday were just the fifth of 170-plus teams in the expansion era (since 1961) to do so while striking out only two (or fewer) times. Also, the 1969 Braves (zero times) vs. the Cubs’ Ken Holtzman, 1970 A’s (one) vs. the Angels’ Clyde Wright, 1980 Giants (two) vs. the Dodgers’ Jerry Reuss and 2011 White Sox (two) vs. the Twins’ Francisco Liriano. … The 12-0 score was the most lopsided of the Rays’ six blankings, surpassing a 10-0 loss to Derek Lowe and the Red Sox in 2002. … Angels rookie lefty Reid Detmers, at 22 years and 306 days, was by far the youngest pitcher to no-hit them; Seattle’s Felix Hernandez was 26 years and 129 days in 2012.

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The Rays added some pitching depth in re-signing right-hander Shawn Armstrong to a minor-league deal, along with right-handers Joe Wieland and Kevin Herget, with plans for all three to go to Triple-A Durham. ... Cash said outfielder Manuel Margot’s tight right hamstring felt “really good” on Wednesday and he probably could have played, but the Rays decided another day of rest coupled with Thursday’s off day would be better. … Similarly, the DH day for Wander Franco was pre-planned as a way to get him off his feet for most of the game as he has been dealing with leg issues. … With the team making an overnight flight home, scheduled Friday and Saturday pitchers Drew Rasmussen and Ryan Yarbrough headed to Tampa on commercial flights before Wednesday’s game at a decent hour.

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