Home News Shohei Ohtani picks up win, ties MLB HR lead as Angels roll

Shohei Ohtani picks up win, ties MLB HR lead as Angels roll

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Maybe Shohei Ohtani was just a bit tired, as manager Phil Nevin joked, when the two-way star took his last big swing for the Los Angeles Angels and matched the MLB lead with his 22nd homer — and fourth in their series-clinching victory over AL West-leading Texas.

After Ohtani threw six innings to get his first victory in his last five starts, he hit another second-deck homer the opposite way, though this two-run blast in the eighth went “only” 443 feet as the Angels won 5-3 on Thursday night to take three of four games.

“Gutsy six innings, two runs against a really, really good lineup. Thought he threw the ball great,” Nevin said. “Let’s talk about the hitting, too. Yeah, that was nice. … Just an unreal series.

“What this game’s meant for a lot of us here, nice to see him on a big stage do stuff like that.”

Ohtani’s 10th homer in his past 16 games, and the second pitching start in a row when he also went deep, matched Pete Alonso for the big league lead and extended his hitting streak to 12 games.

Shohei Ohtani belts his 22nd homer, a two-run shot, to tie for the major league lead in the Angels’ 5-3 win over the Rangers.
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

The left-handed hitter also went into the upper deck to the left of center in the series opener Monday and again Wednesday — those going 459 and 453 feet. His second homer in Monday’s game, a 388-foot drive that just cleared the left-field wall, came on the first pitch of the 12th inning.

“Obviously a huge win, they’re in first place, and I think all the boys were fired up because of that,” Ohtani said through his translator. “I’m seeing the ball really well and I feel really good in my setup.”

Ohtani (6-2) had already thrown the last of his 99 pitches before Mickey Moniak’s tying homer leading off the top of the seventh against Nathan Eovaldi (9-3), who lost in his bid to become only the second 10-game winner in the majors.

The Angels (39-32) have won nine of their last 11 overall.

They’re still 4¹/₂ games behind the Rangers (42-26), who have dropped six of eight.

After Angels closer Carlos Estevez walked the bases loaded to start the ninth, Jacob Webb got his first save, working around a bases-loaded walk before striking out slugger Adolis Garcia to end it.

Ohtani, who remained in as the designated hitter, homered soon after Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien, pitching coach Mike Maddux and manager Bruce Bochy were all ejected by first base umpire Ramon De Jesus.

In the bottom of the seventh, with Texas down 3-2 and a runner at third, Semien thought he had drawn a walk. He was heading toward first base after the full-count pitch when De Jesus instead signaled he had not held up his swing.

Semien took a long walk to the dugout, even pointing at his eyes while glaring toward the umpire.

“It’s a call that might have turned that game around, we don’t know, but certainly was a huge call that went against us,” Bochy said.

When Semien went out on the field for the eighth, he stopped and appeared to be having a calm discussion with De Jesus before getting ejected.

Maddux then ran out of the dugout to get in between them and was also thrown out before Bochy followed — and was also ejected.

Shohei Ohtani, who allowed two runs in six innings, picked up his sixth win of the season.
Shohei Ohtani, who allowed two runs in six innings, picked up his sixth win of the season.
Austin Mcafee/Cal Sport Media/Si

“I’m just mad at myself for even offering at that pitch, but I thought I made a good take,” Smien said, adding that he never got an answer from De Jesus on what he said to get tossed.

In the series opener Monday, De Jesus ejected Angels infielder Brandon Drury after he got into the umpire’s face to argue a called third strike.

He was suspended by MLB for one game for making slight contact with De Jesus, and was sitting out Thursday’s game to satisfy that suspension.

Ohtani struck out three and walked one, allowing six hits and two runs — in a three-batter stretch with two outs in the third when Lowe and Garcia had back-to-back doubles before Jonah Heim’s RBI single.

Eovaldi struck out nine and walked two over seven innings.

Chad Wallach hit a solo homer in the second for the Angels. Moniak got them even with an RBI single in the fourth.

Gio Urshela grounded into an inning-ending double play after the Angels loaded the bases in the first.

Out of the starting lineup the past four games because of back soreness, he stumbled and fell while trying to beat out the relay throw.

He stayed in to play first base in the bottom of the first, but left an inning later because of hip and knee soreness.

Jared Walsh, who replaced Urshela, ended an 0-for-25 skid with a double in the fourth before scoring on Moniak’s single.

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