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Shohei Ohtani in Angels’ lineup as DH while nursing blister on finger against Dodgers

AP Photo/Gregory Bull
Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani watches his ground out during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Wednesday, July 5, 2023, in San Diego.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — All-Star Shohei Ohtani is in the lineup as the designated hitter and is set to bat leadoff for the Los Angeles Angels in their Freeway Series opener against the Dodgers.

The two-way superstar is nursing a blister on the middle finger of his right hand. He was held hitless Wednesday to close out a three-game sweep by the San Diego Padres. Ohtani left Tuesday’s start as a pitcher because of the blister. He also has a cracked fingernail.

“He’s fine. He hasn’t said anything about it. It doesn’t affect him to hit,” manager Phil Nevin said before Friday night’s game at Dodger Stadium. “I’m really trying to get him as many pitches as I can.”

Ohtani won’t pitch in next week’s All-Star game in Seattle, but if he’s healthy enough, he will remain the starting DH for the American League.

The Angels are without fellow All-Star slugger Mike Trout, who had surgery Wednesday for a broken left wrist after fouling off a pitch. He’s likely to be out several weeks.

Trout usually bats behind Ohtani in the lineup.

“Obviously with Mike down, it’s a little bit different,” Nevin said. “We’ve seen him walk a lot lately. If that’s going to happen, you might as well have him on base to get it going, right?”