ARLINGTON, Texas -- Former Korean standout pitcher Hyeon-Jong Yang joined the Texas Rangers on Monday, making his MLB debut.
The Rangers selected the contract of the 33-year-old left-hander from their alternate training site before the opener of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels. Yang came on in relief, and pitched 4.1 innings. He allowed two runs and five hits, striking out one in the Rangers' 9-4 loss to the Angels.
On the other side, Shohei Ohtani struck out nine after a shaky first inning, and also scored three runs and drove in two, registering his first win of the season.
Ohtani gave up four runs in the first inning before retiring 14 of the last 15 batters he faced, with all of his strikeouts in that span.
Also for the Angels, Mike Trout had an RBI double among his four hits in his return to the lineup, raising his average to .426. He had missed three games over the weekend in Houston because of a bruised left elbow after getting hit by a pitch in the series opener against the Astros on Thursday.
Before the game, Texas optioned struggling rookie center fielder Leody Taveras to the alternate training site. To make room on the 40-man roster for Yang, the Rangers transferred first baseman/outfielder Ronald Guzman from the 10-day to 60-day injured list.
Yang had been on the team's taxi squad for each of the first three road trips this season. He initially signed with the Rangers at the start of spring training after a 14-year career with the Kia Tigers. He was the MVP in the Korean Baseball Organization in 2017, and also the Korean Series MVP that season when the Tigers won the league championship. He won the ERA title in the KBO in 2015 and 2019.
Taveras was hitting .087 (4-for-46) with one RBI in his 15 games. He started 14 games in center.
Guzman was placed on the injured list April 13 with a right knee meniscus cartilage tear suffered while playing left field the previous day in Tampa Bay. He is scheduled to have season-ending surgery Wednesday.