Home News Shohei Ohtani’s two homers, four RBIs help Angels win in extras

Shohei Ohtani’s two homers, four RBIs help Angels win in extras

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ARLINGTON — In a battle of American League West rivals, Shohei Ohtani stole the show with his clutch two-homer performance and the Angels emerged victorious against the Rangers, winning 9-6 in 12 innings on Monday evening at Globe Life Field.

“This was a fun win,” said Angels starter Tyler Anderson. “It was a crazy one. Just a wild game with people playing [positions that they] usually don’t play. Just a fun, scrappy win in general.”

“Coming into Texas, they’re in first place and all the boys are fired up,” Ohtani said through his interpreter. “It’s huge to get that first win in the four-game series.”

In the top of the seventh inning, while trailing 5-4, 2021 AL MVP Award winner Ohtani made his presence felt with a game-tying 459-foot home run. Ohtani turned on a 92.9 mph sinker at the knees — the second pitch of the at-bat — and scorched it 114.1 mph to deep center field. It was Ohtani’s 19th homer of the season and his seventh in the past 13 games.

“He’s on a nice streak right now,” Angels skipper Phil Nevin said. “It’s fun to watch when he gets into those spots. You can also see that he’s having a lot of fun, too.

“I think you could see on the home runs — especially the second one — the emotion that he’s showing. He cares about this group quite a bit and [his emotion] is feeding into all the players.”

After the score remained deadlocked at 5-5 for the next four frames, Ohtani delivered again in the top of the 12th inning, when he crushed a go-ahead two-run home run. It was his first extra-inning homer and gave him his AL-leading 20th of the season, as well as his 14th multihomer game in the Majors.

“I do not [get tired of watching Shohei],” shortstop Zach Neto said. “He’s an awesome ballplayer to watch and to role model off of. He’s kind of taken me under his wing. Who wouldn’t want to follow a guy like that?”

Ohtani is slashing .391/.442/.848 with five home runs and 12 RBIs in June, and he has been the engine of the Angels’ recent success.

Though the final score may not indicate it, things got off to a rocky start for the Halos, as lefty starter Anderson struggled to contain the Rangers’ offense early. Through the first three innings, Texas compiled seven hits and five runs against Anderson, building a 5-1 lead over Los Angeles.

After a scoreless fourth inning, though, the Angels’ offense came alive in the middle innings.

Neto kicked things off with a leadoff double off Rangers starter Dane Dunning in the fifth inning. Taylor Ward followed with a single to center field in the next at-bat, before Ohtani drove in Neto on a sacrifice fly to left field.

Things got a bit weird after that, as the Halos scored two more runs in the inning — both on mistakes by Texas. With runners on first and second base following a Mike Trout walk, Anthony Rendon hit a sacrifice fly to advance Ward to third base. Ward wound up scoring on the play, though, as Marcus Semien was unable to secure the relay throw from Adolis García, allowing Ward to sprint home as the ball rolled toward the visitors’ dugout.

A couple of at-bats later, with runners on the corners following Matt Thaiss’ single, Trout sprinted home on a wild pitch by Dunning, making it a one-run game.

Eager to keep the Rangers’ red-hot offense at bay, the Angels stepped up defensively, and Neto made an impressive catch in the bottom of the sixth inning. After Mitch Garver popped a pitch high into the air, the 22-year old shortstop tracked the ball into foul territory before making an acrobatic catch as he collided with the fence.

“I had a good bead on it,” Neto said. “I just waved off Ward and told him I had it. After that, it was just a matter of me [looking to see] where the wall was.

“I saw the ball getting closer and closer to the wall, so I just took it upon myself to get up there and catch it before it hit the net. I braced myself for contact, because I knew I was going to hit the wall at some point.”

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