Author JOE REEDY, AP Games Writer

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Shohei Ohtani removes any doubts that anyone would have had if they had surpassed their achievements in last year’s AL MVP campaign.

Japan’s two-way race won its sixth start with 12 wins in six innings and two hits in a Los Angeles Angels 7-1 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday night.

In his last six innings, Ohtani allowed just three runs (two of which he won) with 20 hits in 39 2/3 innings and 58 hits and 11 hits. The right-hander is 9-4 with a 2.38 ERA in 15 starts this season.

“The last few starts, unfortunately we lost two of his teammates and he takes it on himself. He understands the importance of his day,” said manager Phil Nevin Halos after a five-game defeat. “The last three or four times, he put the team behind him.”

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This is the third time this season Ohtani has been hit by two numbers and several RBIs in a game. Those who did this were Kevin Millwood of Atlanta in 1999 and Hal Newhouser and Detroit in 1946.

It was Ohtani’s first start on the hill before the All-Star Game next Tuesday on the road at Dodger Stadium. The AL MVP commander was selected in his second straight All-Star Games as a fighter and thrower.

Houston manager Dusty Baker, who oversees the AL team, said it was possible that Ohtani could start on the hill for the second year in a row.

“I mean, as a potter, it’s a special place to start in the All-Star Game,” Ohtani said through his translator. “This is something I shoot and I want to do, but I’m sure there are.

Ohtani was also the fifth boxer to have at least 50 appearances and conceded one-to-one run in five games since his acquisition became official figures in 1913. Others were Chris Sale (2018), Clayton Kershaw (2014-15), RA Dickey (2012) and Randy Johnson (1997).

Ohtani also did not make the final decision to take part in Monday’s Home Run Derby. Seven of the eight people were announced, but the deadline to vote is Thursday because ESPN will release a bracket.

“I haven’t really discussed how to use the game with anyone. I have no answer, “Ohtani said. “It will depend on how many innings I make or how many bats I get. If there are too many, then I have to do better at this point.”

Luis Rengifo had three hits and made two runs with a single base in the sixth round of Angels. Mike Trout sat outside shaking his back.

Cristian Javier of Houston, who beat 14 Angels on July 1, only went 3 2/3 innings and conceded three times but hit 10. The last major league starters went less than four innings and scored two Ks were Danny Salazar of Cleveland in 2014.

“He threw the ball well, he had no rules. He also made a few mistakes,” Baker said of Javier.

Yuli Gurriel’s RBI single in the fourth inning led Kyle Tucker and was the first to receive Ohtani to be allowed in 31 2/3 innings It was the longest run by founder Halos since John Lackey went 30 2/3 innings in 2006.

Ohtani matched Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan in two places Wednesday. He is the first to throw the Angels since Ryan threw two runs in four straight games. Three Ohtani Mountains in the right-hand corner of the second field, which went on to make it 3-0, made him the first Angelo starting since Ryan in 1972 to hit three sacks.

There were 32 demonstrations combined with both teams, an American League record in nine games. Angels struck 17 times with 15 Astros.

Two of the 12 Angels’ strikes came on the singles, plus Brandon Marsh came down the third line to bring home Jonathan Villar in the third inning in the first game.

Angels: RHP Jimmy Herget (placing on the right shoulder) threw a Tuesday and another round of preparation over the weekend.

After Trout was out, actor Jo Adell was summoned from Triple-A Salt Lake. This is Adell’s third time in the league this season. Monte Harrison was selected for the job. Adell had two hits, plus one RBI in four of the six innings that stopped the game.

The teams are finishing their series on Thursday. Astros’ LHP Framber Valdez (8-4, 2.64 ERA) has a 7-4 record against Angels. Los Angeles did not name the first.

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