Shohei Ohtani hits 45th homer, but Angels’ young pitchers struggle in another loss

ANAHEIM — The Angels are limping to the finish line.

Although they had perhaps overachieved for much of the second half by flirting with .500 despite a skeleton roster, the Angels’ 10-5 loss to the Houston Astros on Tuesday night was their fifth in a row.

The Angels scored all of their runs on three home runs, including the 45th homer of the season for Shohei Ohtani, who had not hit one since Sept. 10. Ohtani’s eighth-inning blast pulled him within one of Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Kansas City’s Salvador Perez, who are tied for the major league lead with 46.

Ohtani’s homer traveled 445 feet, landing well up into the seats beyond the right field fence.

“Chop that up a little bit he might get two or three out of that,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “That was crushed. He’s fine. He’s in position to finish very strong at the plate and on the mound. That ball was properly struck.”

Although Ohtani has slumped lately and there has been discussion that Guerrero might challenge him for the American League MVP award, Maddon reiterated his opinion that the race is over.

“I think everyone is in second, third, fourth and fifth,” Maddon said.

The MVP discussion is about all that’s left for the Angels (72-79), who are now seven games under .500 for the first time since May 28, which was so long ago that Mike Trout had not even yet missed two weeks.

After three consecutive tight losses to the Oakland A’s over the weekend, the Angels have been outscored 20-5 in the first two games of this four-game series against the AL West-leading Astros.

Their latest defeat induced poor performances by the first three pitchers who took the mound, each of whom had shown some encouraging signs in previous games.

Starter Packy Naughton carried a 4.32 ERA into the game, and he’d had thrown five scoreless innings against the San Diego Padres earlier this month.

The Astros tagged him for three runs in the second on back-to-back homers by Kyle Tucker and Aledmys Diaz. He tacked on a couple more scoreless innings before getting pulled after a leadoff walk in the fifth.

“I made two bad pitches,” Naughton said. “I think I came back and battled well, but in the end, I hope I can come out and execute better on those pitches.”

Oliver Ortega, who had allowed two runs in his first six innings, then gave up a two-run homer to José Altuve. Ortega allowed three of the next four hitters to reach and he was charged with three runs.

Finally, Kyle Tyler gave up three runs in the sixth, including a homer to Martin Maldonado.

Tyler bounced back with a scoreless seventh, looking more like the pitcher who had allowed just one run in his first 9-2/3 big league innings.

While those pitchers had pitched better previously, it’s worth noting that all three began the season at Double-A, and none of them had been in the majors before August. None of them are considered among the Angels’ top pitching prospects.

Austin Warren, who began the year in Triple-A, pitched a scoreless eighth in his first outing after missing a month following a positive COVID test.

“Beautiful,” Maddon said of Warren’s performance. “First pitch slider for a strike. I thought the ball is coming out hot again. This is a guy you know what to expect. That’s what you want from your relief pitchers.”

The Angels trailed 10-1 in the sixth before Phil Gosselin blasted a three-run homer, his second hit of the night. It was the seventh homer of the season for Gosselin.

Earlier Jack Mayfield had hit his 10th homer, this one against the team that brought him to the big leagues. Mayfield reached double-digits in homers after hitting just two in his 112 plate appearances with the Astros in 2019-20.

Shohei Ohtani has 5 HRs of 116+ MPH this season; the most in @MLB. pic.twitter.com/yUDBiHO43j

— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) September 22, 2021

Tonight marks the 13th time this year Shohei Ohtani homered but his team ended up losing by 4+ runs.

That ties the Cubs’ Sammy Sosa (1999) for the most such games in a season in MLB history.

— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) September 22, 2021

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Angels manage just 5 hits in shutout loss to Rangers

  • Angels starting pitcher Jaime Barria throws to the plate during the first inning of Monday night’s game against the Rangers at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Yonny Hernandez of the Rangers runs to third base against the Angels in the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • DJ Peters of the Texas Rangers hits an RBI single against the Angels in the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Angels starting pitcher Jaime Barria throws to the plate during the first inning of Monday night’s game against the Rangers at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Rangers starting pitcher A.J. Alexy throws to the plate during the first inning of Monday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani warms up before an at-bat during the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers Monday, Sept. 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani bats against the Texas Rangers during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Shohei Ohtani of the Angels flies out against the Texas Rangers in the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Angels starting pitcher Jaime Barria throws to the plate during the first inning of Monday night’s game against the Rangers at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • A.J. Alexy of the Rangers throws against the Angels in the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Max Stassi of the Angels walks against the Texas Rangers in the second inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Shohei Ohtani of the Angels after a strike out against the Texas Rangers in the third inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • A.J. Alexy of the Rangers throws against the Angels in the fifth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani reacts after being called out on strikes during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Monday, Sept. 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Rangers manager Chris Woodward talks with starting pitcher A.J. Alexy after the top of the sixth inning of Monday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Angels third baseman Jack Mayfield makes a diving stop on a ground ball from Texas Rangers’ Yohel Pozo during the seventh inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. Pozo was safe at first with an infield single. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Rangers’ Jose Trevino connects for an RBI double during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Monday, Sept. 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Angels first baseman Jared Walsh, right, tags out Texas Rangers’ Jason Martin along the first base line after a ground ball during the seventh inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Angels’ Max Stassi shows his frustration as he flies out with two men on base during the seventh inning of Monday night’s game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Spencer Patton of the Rangers throws against the Angels in the eighth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Juan Lagares of the Angels hits a double against the Texas Rangers in the eighth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Juan Lagares of the Angels after hitting a double against the Texas Rangers in the eighth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Shohei Ohtani of the Angels between pitches against the Texas Rangers in the eighth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Andrew Wantz of the Angels throws against the Texas Rangers in the ninth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Joe Barlow of the Rangers throws against the Los Angeles Angels in the ninth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Joe Barlow of the Texas Rangers celebrates a win against the Angels in the ninth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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ANAHEIM — Joe Maddon was quick to file this one away with a satisfied shrug.

After the Angels’ 4-0 loss to the Texas Rangers on Monday night, the Angels manager said there was actually not much to regret from this game.

“I liked a lot of that game tonight from our perspective,” Maddon said. “Give them credit. They got us. From a pitching perspective, they got us. But there’s a lot to like about what we did tonight in regards to how the game is played.”

Considering the Angels are now at the point in a sort of early spring training 2022, when how they play matters more than the final score, it makes sense that Maddon would be OK with a game like this.

His starting pitcher, Jaime Barria, finished seven innings and gave up three runs, with an infield hit and a broken-bat single leading to two of them.

The Angels played solid defense, turning a couple of double plays and with center fielder Brandon Marsh running down some drives.

The offense was the problem, but part of that can be explained by the Angels simply having the skeleton lineup they’ve used throughout the second half. In this one, they were also without Phil Gosselin, one of their most consistent hitters. Gosselin had the night off, which moved Jack Mayfield up to the No. 3 spot.

The Angels totaled five hits, but there were some good signs. They hit a few balls hard, but right at people.

“Tonight is a great example of well-place defense,” Maddon said. “We just kept hitting balls right at them all night long.”

In the second inning, with runners at first and second and no outs, Marsh smoked a ball 107 mph, but it was directly to second baseman Nick Solak, who started a double play.

After that, the Angels didn’t have another hit against Rangers starter A.J. Alexy, who pitched six innings.

Alexy was pitching just his second big league game, after working five scoreless innings in his debut last week. The 23-year-old right-hander had spent the past four years in the Rangers system after the Dodgers dealt him to Texas as part of the Yu Darvish trade in 2017.

Although Maddon cursed the Angels’ bad luck of hitting balls into the defense, he also gave credit to Alexy.

“I thought their pitcher was good,” Maddon said. “Don’t get me wrong. I’ve never seen him before, but I like his arm stroke. I like his mound presence. I like the pitch mix. Absolutely. But a little unlucky for us tonight.”

Barria was unlucky too.

Barria gave up a first-inning run after a pair of soft singles, one in which DJ Peters broke his bat, and a hit batter. In the second, he gave up a run on three solid singles.

Double plays helped him escape each of those innings with minimal damage, and he had no problem cruising through the Rangers’ order after that.

Barria retired 14 in a row, until a Yohel Pozo infield hit in the seventh inning, which led to the third run.

“I thought he was really good,” Maddon said. “He was a little unlucky actually. He had every opportunity to put all zeroes up himself. They got those couple flares. They didn’t hit him hard at all. Play the tape, and they didn’t hit him hard.”

Considering that developing good starting pitching is probably the most important thing for the Angels to do as they play out the string, Maddon couldn’t be too disappointed with a loss like this.

“There’s nothing to be upset about,” he said. “I thought we caught the ball well. We moved well. We had good at-bats. We pitched well. It’s just one of those nights it did not want to turn in our favor.”

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Shohei Ohtani pitches Angels to victory over Blue Jays, Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

  • The Angels’ Jo Adell scores past Blue Jays catcher Reese McGuire on a sacrifice fly by Kurt Suzuki during the second inning of Thursday’s game at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani throws to the plate during the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani throws to the plate during the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani points to third baseman Phil Gosselin after Gosselin made a diving catch on a line drive by the Blue Jays’ Marcus Semien during the first inning of Thursday’s game at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani smiles as he walks off the mound during the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Blue Jays starting pitcher Jose Berrios throws to the plate during the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani hits a double during the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani follows through after hitting a double during the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani follows through after hitting a double during the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, right, rounds first base past Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on a double during the first inning of Thursday’s game at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Blue Jays starting pitcher Jose Berrios throws to the plate during the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • The Angels’ Jo Adell scores past Blue Jays catcher Reese McGuire on a sacrifice fly by Kurt Suzuki during the second inning of Thursday’s game at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • The Angels’ Jo Adell leaps after scoring on a sacrifice fly by Kurt Suzuki during the second inning of Thursday’s game at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Angels’ Jo Adell leaps after scoring on a sacrifice fly by Kurt Suzuki as Blue Jays catcher Reese McGuire looks on during the second inning of Thursday’s game at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • The Angels’ Jared Walsh watches his two-run single during the second inning of Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, right, scores past Blue Jays catcher Reese McGuire on a single by Jared Walsh during the second inning of Thursday’s game at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani is congratulated by teammate Brandon Marsh after both players scored on a base hit by Jared Walsh during the second inning of Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • The Angels’ Jared Walsh claps after driving in two runs with a single during the second inning of Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani throws to the plate during the second inning of Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani throws to the plate during the second inning of Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • The Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. smiles in the dugout during the eighth inning of Thursday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani reacts after the Blue Jays’ George Springer grounded into a double play during the third inning of Thursday’s game at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Blue Jays starting pitcher Jose Berrios throws to the plate during the second inning of Thursday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani throws to the plate during the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. Ohtani allowed two runs in six innings and doubled in a 6-3 win. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Blue Jays’ Teoscar Hernandez connects for an RBI single during the fourth inning of Thursday’s game at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani throws to the plate during the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani throws to the plate during the fourth inning of Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Blue Jays’ Randal Grichuk connects for an RBI double during the fourth inning of Thursday’s game at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • The Blue Jays’ Randal Grichuk starts to run the bases after hitting an RBI double during the fourth inning of Thursday’s game at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • The Blue Jays’ Teoscar Hernandez is greeted in the dugout after scoring on a double by Randal Grichuk during the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani reacts after giving up two runs during the fourth inning of Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Blue Jays starting pitcher Jose Berrios, center, is removed by Manager Charlie Montoyo during the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Angels’ Phil Gosselin pushes the Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. as he runs back to first base after getting caught in a rundown between first and second base during the sixth inning of Thursday’s game at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • The Blue Jays’ George Springer reacts to fans booing him after a ground out during the eighth inning of Thursday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Angels closer Raisel Iglesias is congratulated by catcher Kurt Suzuki after the final out of their 6-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Angels relief pitcher Raisel Iglesias, right, hugs catcher Kurt Suzuki after the final out of their 6-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • From left, the Angels’ David Fletcher, Jose Iglesias and Juan Lagares celebrate their 6-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

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ANAHEIM — Shohei Ohtani continued cruising toward a likely MVP award with a matchup against the player chasing him.

Ohtani pitched six innings and doubled in the Angels’ 6-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on Thursday night.

In the head-to-head matchups, Guerrero came out ahead. He singled, walked and struck out.

But Ohtani was good enough against the rest of the Blue Jays’ lineup to pick up the victory.

“I had a lot of fun facing him,” Ohtani said through his interpreter. “Not just him, but their whole lineup is really good, especially the middle of the order. They have top-notch hitters. I had a lot of fun facing those guys.”

His performance against the second-highest scoring team in the majors no doubt adds to his MVP resume. Ohtani now has a 2.93 ERA and a 1.017 OPS, to go with a major league-leading 38 homers, which makes him the clear MVP in the eyes of his manager.

“It’s overtly obvious to me,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “There is no argument against it. Vladdy is having a great year and I like the kid a lot, but what our guy is doing has never been done before. It’s unprecedented. That’s where it ends for me. What Shohei is doing is just different.”

On Thursday night Ohtani gave up three hits, and two of them were in the fourth inning, when the Blue Jays scored both of their runs.

It was the first time Ohtani had allowed multiple runs in an inning since he was charged with seven runs and didn’t make it out of the first inning on June 30 at Yankee Stadium.

In five starts since, he has a 1.69 ERA, with four walks and 29 strikeouts in 32 innings. The difference for Ohtani in his recent stretch compared with earlier in the year is that he has command of his fastball, Maddon said.

While Ohtani conceded that he has better command of all of his pitches lately, he said he still has work to do.

“Honestly I haven’t been feeling that great,” Ohtani said, “but when I don’t have my best stuff I found ways to get outs and get through innings. But I’m not feeling that good on the mound right now. Physically I feel really good, but I feel like I’m getting better each outing. I still haven’t hit my potential. I still have room to get better going forward.”

He is the first Angels pitcher to work at least six innings in five straight starts since 2018.

At the plate, Ohtani helped the Angels end a 20-start stretch in which Blue Jays starter José Berrios had lasted at least five innings.

The former Minnesota Twins ace was making his third start since being traded to the Blue Jays.

Ohtani led off the first inning with a double into left center against Berrios. The ball left Ohtani’s bat at 112 mph for his MLB-leading 68th extra-base hit. Combined with his homer on Wednesday night, it was further evidence that Ohtani could be emerging from the slump that has lasted since the All-Star break.

A couple of other players whose performance at the plate had been disappointing contributed to the Angels’ bolting to a 4-0 lead in the second.

Brandon Marsh doubled and Kurt Suzuki hit a sacrifice fly to give the Angels their first run. Jared Walsh followed with a two-run single and Phil Gosselin drove in one with a single.

Suzuki doubled in the third to drive in José Iglesias, extending the lead to 5-0.

After the Blue Jays cut it to 5-2 in the fourth, Ohtani finished strong on the mound. He retired six of seven hitters in the fifth and sixth innings, punctuating his night with a strikeout on his 99th and final pitch.

Austin Warren then picked up five outs to serve as a bridge to closer Raisel Iglesias, who recorded the final four despite giving up a ninth-inning home run.

Warren has allowed three runs in his first 8-2/3 big league innings, with eight strikeouts and one walk.

Shohei Ohtani facts:
▪ Was the winning pitcher & batted leadoff tonight
▪ Has a 1.69 ERA since 7/1
▪ Leads the league in homers
▪ Is incredible pic.twitter.com/8fHM6NOwy4

— MLB (@MLB) August 13, 2021

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Shohei Ohtani hits 38th HR, but Blue Jays club 4 to rout Angels

  • Angels starting pitcher Dylan Bundy throws to the plate during the first inning of Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah throws to the plate during the first inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani bats during the first inning of Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani bats during the first inning of Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • Fans of the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani huddle near the dugout before the Angels’ game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani smiles in the dugout during Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Angels starting pitcher Dylan Bundy throws to the plate during the first inning of Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • The Blue Jays’ Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hits a solo home run during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • The Blue Jays’ Lourdes Gurriel Jr. watches the flight of his solo home run during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Blue Jays’ Lourdes Gurriel Jr. celebrates his solo home run as he finishes circling the bases during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Blue Jays’ Lourdes Gurriel Jr., right, receives the team’s “Home Run Jacket” from teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. after hitting a solo home run during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • The Blue Jays’ Lourdes Gurriel Jr. receives the team’s “Home Run Jacket” from teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. after he hit a solo home run during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah throws to the plate during the first inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Angels starting pitcher Dylan Bundy throws to the plate during the first inning of Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • Angels starting pitcher Dylan Bundy throws to the plate during the first inning of Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Blue Jays’ George Springer watches the flight of his solo home run during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Blue Jays’ George Springer celebrates as he circles the bases after hitting a solo home run during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Blue Jays’ George Springer, right, celebrates his solo home run with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. Springer hit a second home run later in the game. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Blue Jays’ George Springer, right, celebrates with teammate Marcus Semien after hitting a solo home run during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • The Blue Jays’ George Springer, center, celebrates his solo home run with teammates as he returns to the dugout during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Blue Jays’ George Springer celebrates with teammates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani connects for a two-run home run during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. That was all the offense the Angels could muster in a 10-2 loss. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani watches the flight of his two-run home run during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. That was all the offense the Angels could muster in a 10-2 loss. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani watches the flight of his two-run home run during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani watches the flight of his two-run home run during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani drops his bat as he watches the flight of his two-run home run during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani circles the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani circles the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani is met at home plate by teammate Jo Adell after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Fans of the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani wear T-shirts with his likeness before the Angels’ game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, left, celebrates with teammate Jose Iglesias as he returns to the dugout after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • A fan of the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani holds a fan before the Angels’ game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani celebrates his two-run home run with teammates in the dugout during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Blue Jays’ Teoscar Hernandez connects for a grand slam during the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Blue Jays’ Teoscar Hernandez hits a grand slam during the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • The Blue Jays’ Teoscar Hernandez watches the flight of his grand slam during the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Blue Jays’ Teoscar Hernandez, right, celebrates his grand slam with Marcus Semien during the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Blue Jays’ Teoscar Hernandez, center right, celebrates his grand slam with his teammates at home plate during the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Blue Jays’ Teoscar Hernandez celebrates in the dugout after hitting a grand slam during the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • The Blue Jays’ George Springer hits a solo home run, his second of the night, during the ninth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Blue Jays’ George Springer watches the flight of his solo home run, his second of the night, during the ninth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Blue Jays’ George Springer circles the bases after hitting a solo home run, his second of the night, during the ninth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Blue Jays’ Lourdes Gurriel Jr. smiles in the dugout during the ninth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. Toronto hit four home runs in a 10-2 win. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Blue Jays’ George Springer celebrates as he crosses home plate after hitting a solo home run, his second of the night, during the ninth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Blue Jays’ George Springer, center, celebrates in the dugout after he hit a solo home run, his second of the night, during the ninth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Blue Jays’ George Springer celebrates in the dugout while wearing the “Home Run Jacket” after he hit a solo home run, his second of the night, during the ninth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Blue Jays relief pitcher Santiago Espinal celebrates after the final out of their 10-2 victory over the Angels on Wednesday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • The Blue Jays’ Teoscar Hernandez, right, celebrates with relief pitcher Santiago Espinal after the final out of their 10-2 victory over the Angels on Wednesday night at Angel Stadium. Hernandez hit a fifth-inning grand slam in Toronto’s 10-2 win. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

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ANAHEIM — In the prelude to one of the more unique nights on the MLB calendar, Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani upped the ante the best way he knows how.

Ohtani hit his MLB-leading 38th home run of the season on Wednesday night, but his one-man offensive show was overmatched. The Toronto Blue Jays delivered a more thorough power display, and 11 strikeouts from Alek Manoah, handing the Angels their fourth loss in five games, 10-2.

Next up is Thursday’s series finale, when Ohtani takes the mound for the Angels. Hitting a home run the day before he takes the mound is not unprecedented. He has done that plenty of times this season.

Instead, MLB’s home run leader will be pitching to the player with the second-most home runs in the major leagues: Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

“That’s probably a first, especially in August,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “There are so many great sub-plots to this whole thing and one of my lines all year, to the guys early in camp, and with myself on the lineup card every day, is to write ‘#dontmissit.’”

Guerrero, whose father of the same name knew plenty about hitting home runs in Anaheim, has gone deep 35 times this season, but he was held in check Wednesday. It was Lourdes Gurriel Jr., George Springer and Teoscar Hernandez who went deep to power Toronto, which has won 12 of its last 14 games and is second in the majors with 172 home runs.

Springer hit a pair of home runs, while Hernandez’s first career grand slam, and 18th home run of the season, gave the Blue Jays a 7-2 lead in the fifth inning and Toronto put away the game from there.

Angels left-hander Sam Selman absorbed four of the five Blue Jays runs in the fifth, including the slam to the right-handed hitting Hernandez with right-hander Aaron Slegers warming up in the bullpen.

“Slegers hasn’t been here in a while and I wasn’t quite sure where he was at,” Maddon said. “To me, Selman was more of a known (quantity), where I haven’t seen Aaron in a bit and that is more of the unknown. So we lost that gamble right there.”

Angels starter Dylan Bundy (2-9) gave up three runs on four hits over four innings, including the home runs by Gurriel and Springer in the third inning. Bundy threw just 62 pitches after reaching 84 his last time out.

“It’s not what you want as a starting pitcher to be pulled that early, but you have to trust what the manager says or what he does and that’s the end of it,” Bundy said.

The rough evening for the Angels continued when catcher Max Stassi left in the sixth inning after he was hit by a pitch in the left forearm by a 95 mph fastball from Manoah. X-rays were negative and he is being listed as day-to-day.

The Angels did get first baseman Jared Walsh back from the disabled list Wednesday and he went 1 for 4 with a sixth-inning single and two strikeouts.

“It’s hard to expect or anticipate a wonderful return based on the time he had been down and the injury that it was,” Maddon said about Walsh. “He had some really good stuff in the pregame and did fight off that one pitch to get the hit. He made that nice pick at first base. It looked like he was moving around well.”

With three-time AL MVP Mike Trout (calf) still out, third baseman Anthony Rendon done for the season and the Angels continuing to slip in the AL wild-card standings, Ohtani’s two-way exploits are the top attraction, but even his drawing power could be waning. An Ohtani T-shirt night Wednesday drew a crowd of just 22,620.

“He doesn’t cower easily, he doesn’t get upset easily, he’s pretty strong-willed,” Maddon said after Ohtani’s first home run since July 28. “He knows that since the (All-Star) break, and having everyone hurt that it was going to be more difficult (to produce).

“Let’s just see if we can get this thing straightened out behind him (in the lineup). I like what he’s doing in the leadoff hole and we’ll probably stay with that for a little bit.”

Shohei hit it to the bushes. 💪 pic.twitter.com/kjGMA11uMr

— MLB (@MLB) August 12, 2021

The @BlueJays RAKE. 😤 pic.twitter.com/xJ185v4Nu7

— MLB (@MLB) August 12, 2021

Joe gives his thoughts on tonight’s game and facing a young guy like Manoah#WeBelieve I @Angels pic.twitter.com/U0uNUoI8Fl

— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) August 12, 2021

Read more about Shohei Ohtani hits 38th HR, but Blue Jays club 4 to rout Angels This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

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Angels drag Dodgers into extra innings, hand them a 4-3 loss in 10th

LOS ANGELES — The Angels had them just where they wanted them.

The Angels lured the Dodgers into their dark alley – extra innings – and roughed them up for two runs in the 10th inning, becoming the latest team to beat them in bonus time, 4-3, on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

The win was the Angels’ third in four Freeway Series games this year and extended their recent winning streak to four games, keeping the dwindling embers of their wild-card hopes warm.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers – now a shocking 1-12 in extra innings (64-33 in regulation) – can make no headway against the NL West-leading Giants. And they couldn’t make it to Trea Turner’s debut in the lineup Saturday with the rest of it intact.

Mookie Betts left the game with a return of the hip pain that landed him on the injured list for 10 days.

Playing his fourth game in six days since coming off the IL (first in the outfield), Betts looked to be in discomfort after he scored from third base on a ground out in the first inning but stayed in the game until the seventh when Billy McKinney briefly replaced him in right field.

The Dodgers could have had the game in hand by then.

They had Angels starter Patrick Sandoval on the ropes for much of his five innings but failed to land a knockout blow, going 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position against the lefty.

In the first, Betts led off with a single and Justin Turner doubled to right field, putting runners at second and third with no outs. The Dodgers got just one run out of that – on a weak groundout by Albert Pujols, a small measure of revenge for Pujols in his first time facing the Angels since they released him in May.

In the third, a walk and a single (by Pujols) put two runners on with two outs but Sandoval got Corey Seager to pop out.

In the fifth, Sandoval walked AJ Pollock and gave up back-to-back singles to David Price and Betts with two outs, the latter scoring a run. But Turner flew out to end that inning.

The Dodgers could do nothing with a leadoff double by Max Muncy in the fifth either.

The Angels, on the other hand, took the direct route.

They had just four hits off Price but two of them were home runs, solo shots by Jose Iglesias in the fifth and Jack Mayfield in the sixth. It was Mayfield’s seventh home run since the All-Star break. Only Toronto’s George Springer (eight) has hit more.

The score stayed tied through nine innings – so the Angels had the Dodgers just where they wanted them.

Two pitches into the 10th, Iglesias poked a double into right field off Garrett Cleavinger, cashing in the free runner. After intentionally walking Shohei Ohtani, a ground out moved the runners up. One scored when Muncy couldn’t make an over-the-shoulder catch of Mayfield’s pop-up to shallow right field.

It was the 14th consecutive extra inning in which the Dodgers have allowed at least one run.

The Dodgers did cash in their free runner in the bottom of the 10th on a single by Muncy and a sacrifice fly by Seager. But AJ Pollock bounced out with two runners on to end the game.

According to ESPN Stats and Info, the Dodgers’ current 11-game losing streak in extra innings is one short of matching the longest single-season losing streak in extra innings set by the expansion Montreal Expos in 1969 (a year in which the Expos lost 110 games overall).

More to come on this story.

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Shohei Ohtani flexes power, finesse on mound in Angels’ win

  • The Angels’ Max Stassi celebrates with Shohei Ohtani after hitting a home run during the first inning of Tuesday’s game against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium. finished 3 for 4, a triple short of the cycle, in the Angels’ 5-3 win. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the second inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • Boston’s Kiké Hernandez is safe at second base after Angels shortstop Jose Iglesias, left, doesn’t catch a throw to second during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Boston’s Kiké Hernandez slides into second base with a double against Jose Iglesias #4 of the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Boston’s Kiké Hernandez, left, celebrates with teammate Xander Bogaerts (2) after scoring off of a sacrifice fly hit by J.D. Martinez during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels is checked for foreign substances during a game against the Boston Red Sox in the third inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • Red Sox starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi (17) throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Max Stassi (33) hits a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Max Stassi (33) runs the bases after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17) celebrates in the dugout after scoring off of a home run hit by Max Stassi during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Nathan Eovaldi #17 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • Red Sox left fielder Alex Verdugo (99) points after doubling during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani throws to the plate during the first inning of Tuesday’s game against the Red Sox at Angel Stadium. Ohtani held AL East-leading Boston to two runs over seven innings and had an RBI double in a 5-3 victory over the Red Sox. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Connor Wong #74 of the Boston Red Sox gestures from second base after hitting a double against the Los Angeles Angels in the fifth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • J.D. Martinez #28 of the Boston Red Sox hits a single against the Los Angeles Angels in the fifth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. Connor Wong scored. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • J.D. Martinez #28 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates his single with first base cocah Tom Goodwin #82 against the Los Angeles Angels in the fifth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. Connor Wong scored. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) throws during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Boston Red Sox’s Xander Bogaerts (2) flies out to center field during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels right fielder Taylor Ward (3) and center fielder Juan Lagares (19) celebrate after Lagares caught a fly ball hit by Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Brandon Workman (44) throws during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17) reacts to striking out during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • The Angels’ Max Stassi (33) singles during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Boston Red Sox’s Rafael Devers, left, is safe at second base on a passed ball during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. Los Angeles Angels’ David Fletcher (22) is at right. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Pitcher Nathan Eovaldi #17 of the Boston Red Sox reacts to a call before being subbed out of the game against the Los Angeles Angels in the sixth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • Raisel Iglesias #32 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches against the Boston Red Sox in the ninth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. The Los Angeles Angels won, 5-3. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • Hunter Renfroe #10 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates with teammates after hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels in the ninth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • Boston Red Sox’s Hunter Renfroe (10) celebrates in the dugout after hitting a home run during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Raisel Iglesias #32 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates after closing out the ninth inning to defeat the Boston Red Sox 5-3 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 06, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • Angels relief pitcher Raisel Iglesias celebrates with catcher Max Stassi, right, after closing out their 5-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

  • Angels relief pitcher Raisel Iglesias celebrates with catcher Max Stassi, right, after closing out their 5-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • A fan fits a baseball through a hole in the net to get an autograph from Angels right fielder Taylor Ward, right, before a baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

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ANAHEIM ― As a hitter, Shohei Ohtani has evolved into the most prolific slugger in the game. He didn’t add to his major league-leading total of 31 home runs against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, but it was not for lack of effort. Even his swings and misses elicited oohs and ahhs from the announced crowd of 28,669 at Angel Stadium.

As a pitcher, Ohtani alternated between power and finesse for seven innings in a 5-3 Angels victory. The fourth inning ended when Ohtani got Rafael Devers to ground out on a 99-mph fastball. The fifth inning ended when Ohtani got Danny Santana to fly out on a 68-mph curveball.

When the seventh inning ended, Ohtani received a standing ovation for his 89-pitch effort. It was not flashy; Ohtani’s opponent, Nathan Eovaldi, coaxed more swings and misses from the opposing lineup. But it was more than enough to give a beleaguered bullpen a breather, and give the Angels an uplifting win over the first-place team in the American League East.

Ohtani allowed just two runs and five hits over seven innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out four. He got help from center fielder Juan Lagares, who leaped to rob a potential two-run home run from Xander Bogaerts to end the sixth inning.

The Red Sox had been averaging five runs per game. Ohtani had faced them only once before, in April 2018, and he was knocked out after completing just two innings. On Tuesday, he made a believer of Red Sox manager Alex Cora.

“He’s a different pitcher than in ’18,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “When we came here (in April 2018) … the stuff was electric. Today, yeah, he threw hard … but he pitched. He knows what he’s doing out there. It’s amazing what he’s doing. Unreal.”

The Angels (43-42) will close out their six-game homestand on Wednesday afternoon with the rubber match against the Red Sox (54-33).

Angels catcher Max Stassi capped a three-run first inning with a two-run home run, his sixth of the season. He finished 3 for 4, a triple short of the cycle. David Fletcher went 4 for 4 and extended his hitting streak to 20 games, the longest by an American League player this season.

Ohtani helped his own cause with an RBI double in the first inning as the Angels racked up 11 hits.

“I felt like I had good rhythm, good mechanics,” he said through his interpreter. “It was a lot different from my last start.”

Ohtani (4-1) rebounded splendidly from a brutal outing last Wednesday in the Bronx. The Yankees took advantage of four walks to score seven runs in the first inning. Ohtani recorded just two outs and saw his earned-run average swell from 2.58 to 3.60.

On a warm West Coast night, Ohtani’s command was not an issue Tuesday. He faced 26 hitters and went to a 3-ball count only once.

“I’m really used to the Angel Stadium mound, so it’s easy to keep my mechanics pretty steady,” he said. “When I go on the road, the mound’s different at every ballpark. I need to make that adjustment going forward.”

Ohtani said he intentionally shifted his focus from pitching for strikeouts to simply recording outs because of his opponent – a first-place team with a penchant for scoring runs.

Angels manager Joe Maddon was hopeful that Ohtani can “throttle down” more often in the future.

“I am certain he is going to follow exactly what he did tonight and how it felt,” Maddon said.

Red Sox center fielder Kiké Hernandez began the game with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly by J.D. Martinez, but the Angels never trailed after the first inning. They went 4 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

In the sixth inning, they chased Eovaldi by loading the bases and scoring a pair of insurance runs. The first scored on an RBI groundout by Jose Iglesias. The next scored on an infield single by Fletcher.

Ohtani did not remain in the game as an outfielder after he exited. Mike Mayers pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Raisel Iglesias allowed a solo home run to Martinez in the ninth inning en route to his 17th save of the season.

Stassi had not caught Ohtani since his first start of the season, back in April against the Chicago White Sox. This time, Ohtani was more effective at changing speeds, dialing his fastball and curveball up or down at will. The slow curve, Stassi said, “came into the equation when I put the two (fingers) down.”

The veteran catcher recalled one at-bat in which Santana saw a 67-mph curveball from Ohtani.

“The next pitch was a 99-mph fastball,” Stassi said. “That’s just not fair.”

“He PITCHED today!”

Joe Maddon talks Ohtani’s outing, Stassi’s catching, and Lagares’ outstanding catch#WeBelieve I @Angels pic.twitter.com/qOkXYEg1Hi

— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) July 7, 2021

You don’t want to face Sho at the A. https://t.co/r9MXHuKCtR pic.twitter.com/BbHeMncTps

— MLB (@MLB) July 7, 2021

Shohei LOVES playing at the Big 🅰 ❤#WeBelieve I @Angels pic.twitter.com/CXMFXhp51j

— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) July 7, 2021

“It would probably have to have a couple outfielders fall down for me to get to third base.”

Max Stassi on his (almost) cycle😂#WeBelieve I @Angels pic.twitter.com/QPCrFLN6FH

— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) July 7, 2021

Juan really brought that back 😱 pic.twitter.com/kTQgNXKySB

— MLB (@MLB) July 7, 2021

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Angels can’t catch a break in 8-4 loss to A’s

  • Angels starting pitcher Jose Quintana throws to the plate during the first inning of Friday’s game against the Oakland A’s at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) tags out Oakland Athletics Matt Chapman (26) at third base during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 21, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Oakland A’s starting pitcher James Kaprielian, a former Beckman High and UCLA standout, throws to the plate during the first inning of Friday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Oakland Athletics first baseman Matt Olson, left, catches a foul ball hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Taylor Ward during the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 21, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: Stephen Piscotty #25 of the Oakland Athletics catches a foul ball by Juan Lagares #19 of the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jose Quintana (62) throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Friday, May 21, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels shortstop Jose Iglesias (4) throws to first after Oakland Athletics’ Ramon Laureano (22) was out at second during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, May 21, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: Jose Iglesias #4 of the Los Angeles Angels throws to first base for the double play after forcing out Ramon Laureano #22 of the Oakland Athletics at second base during the third inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: Mark Canha #20 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates his home run with third base coach Mark Kotsay #7 of the Oakland Athletics during the third inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels right fielder Jose Rojas (18) throws in a line drive hit by Oakland Athletics’ Chad Pinder during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, May 21, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. Los Angeles Angels center fielder Juan Lagares (19) is at left. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: Matt Olson #28 of the Oakland Athletics slides into home plate against Drew Butera #16 of the Los Angeles Angels during the third inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels catcher Drew Butera (16) tags out Oakland Athletics’ Matt Olson (28) at home plate during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, May 21, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Mark Canha (20) celebrates after hitting a home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Friday, May 21, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Oakland A’s starting pitcher James Kaprielian, a former Beckman High and UCLA standout, throws to the plate during the first inning of Friday’s game against the Angels at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) pops out to third during the third inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Friday, May 21, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: Jose Iglesias #4 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates his home run with Shohei Ohtani #17 during the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Jose Iglesias (4) celebrates with designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) after hitting a home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Friday, May 21, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: Ramon Laureano #22 and Stephen Piscotty #25 of the Oakland Athletics misplay a fly ball during the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: Chad Pinder #4 of the Oakland Athletics holds onto the ball hit by Jose Iglesias #4 of the Los Angeles Angels for an out during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: James Kaprielian #32 and Sean Murphy #12 of the Oakland Athletics walk to the dugout at the end of the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: Chad Pinder #4 and Ramon Laureano #22 of the Oakland Athletics celebrate with Stephen Piscotty #25 after they scored on a double by Sean Murphy #12 during the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Jared Walsh (20) runs the bases after hitting a home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Friday, May 21, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Jared Walsh (20) celebrates with Jose Rojas (18) after hitting a home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Friday, May 21, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Oakland Athletics second baseman Chad Pinder (4) holds on to the ball while rolling to catch a fly ball hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Jose Iglesias (4) during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 21, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: Juan Lagares #19 of the Los Angeles Angels hits a two-run triple during the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Jose Rojas (18) and Taylor Ward (3) celebrate after scoring off of a triple hit by Juan Lagares during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Friday, May 21, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: Taylor Ward #3 and Jose Rojas #18 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrate scoring off a two-RBI triple from Juan Lagares #19 during the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: Juan Lagares #19 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates at third base his two-RBI triple as Matt Chapman #26 of the Oakland Athletics looks on during the sixth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Juan Lagares (19) celebrates after hitting a triple during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Friday, May 21, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. Taylor Ward (3) and Jose Rojas scored. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: Taylor Ward #3 and Jose Rojas #18 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrate scoring off a two-RBI triple from Juan Lagares #19 with their teammates in the dugout during the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: Mark Canha #20 of the Oakland Athletics slides into home plate against Drew Butera #16 of the Los Angeles Angels during the seventh inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: Mike Mayers #21 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts after giving up a home run to Chad Pinder #4 of the Oakland Athletics during the seventh inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: Chad Pinder #4 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates his three-run home run with Matt Olson #28 and Ramon Laureano #22 during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Chad Pinder (4) celebrates with Matt Olson (28) and Ramon Laureano (22) after they all scored on a home run hit by Pinder during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Friday, May 21, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Oakland center fielder Ramon Laureano leaps to rob a home run on a ball hit by the Angels’ Anthony Rendon during the seventh inning of Friday’s game at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Oakland center fielder Ramon Laureano leaps to rob a home run on a ball hit by the Angels’ Anthony Rendon during the seventh inning of Friday’s game at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Oakland Athletics center fielder Ramon Laureano (22) catches a fly ball hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Anthony Rendon during the seventh inning of a baseball game Friday, May 21, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: Ramon Laureano #22 of the Oakland Athletics reacts after catching a ball hit by Anthony Rendon #6 of the Los Angeles Angels during the seventh inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Oakland Athletics center fielder Ramon Laureano, left, celebrates after catching a fly ball hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Anthony Rendon during the seventh inning of a baseball game Friday, May 21, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. Oakland Athletics left fielder Mark Canha (20) is at right. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: David Fletcher #22 of the Los Angeles Angels throws the ball to first base for the double play against Mark Canha #20 of the Oakland Athletics during the eighth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: Ramon Laureano #22 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates his home run with Matt Olson #28 against the Los Angeles Angels during the ninth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: David Fletcher #22 of the Los Angeles Angels makes the double play against Matt Olson #28 of the Oakland Athletics during the ninth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: Lou Trivino #62 and Sean Murphy #12 of the Oakland Athletics celebrate their 8-4 win against the Los Angeles Angels after the game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: Mark Canha #20, Stephen Piscotty #25 and Ramon Laureano #22 of the Oakland Athletics celebrate their 8-4 win against the Los Angeles Angels after the game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • The Oakland Athletics celebrate after winning 8-4 against the Los Angeles Angels in a baseball game Friday, May 21, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • A young fan looks for his seat before a baseball game between the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels Friday, May 21, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

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ANAHEIM ― All Anthony Rendon could do was shrug toward his own dugout, an apt metaphor for the first 45 games of the Angels’ season.

Rendon ticketed a fly ball for the Angel Stadium rocks in the seventh inning Friday night, an apparent two-run home run that would tie the score. Oakland A’s center fielder Ramon Laureano leaped above the wall in left-center and gloved the ball before it could land. The game-saving catch animated Laureano and froze out the Angels, who ultimately lost, 8-4, before an announced crowd of 14,624.

Jared Walsh and Jose Iglesias hit home runs for the Angels (19-26), who have lost four of six games on this homestand. Their 7½-game disadvantage to Oakland (27-19) now marks the difference between first and last place in the American League West.

A two-run triple by Juan Lagares allowed the Angels to take a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning. Moments later, right-hander Mike Mayers (1-3) gave the lead right back on a three-run home run by Chad Pinder.

“That’s the most frustrating way to lose for a team, when you fight, fight, fight to come back and it goes wrong,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said.

Walsh and Jose Rojas each finished with two hits. Rojas also made a trio of big plays in right field.

In the third inning, the rookie from Anaheim started a 9-4-2 relay to retire Matt Olson at home plate. In the sixth inning, he held Laureano at third base with a strong throw home. Then in the seventh inning, Rojas threw out Mark Canha trying to score from second base.

“We get our work done before games, before batting practice on a daily basis,” said Rojas, whose only other major league start in right field was Tuesday. “The comfort level is there. Now I just have to get the repetition.”

Even the Angels’ superb defensive plays were overshadowed by a pair of errors. Iglesias botched a routine throw from shortstop in the seventh inning. Pitcher Tony Watson allowed a lazy ground ball to trickle under his glove in the eighth. Shrug.

Perhaps the most frustrated Angel on Friday was starting pitcher Jose Quintana.

Seven of the A’s eight runs scored after Mayers relieved Quintana in the sixth inning. The veteran left-hander effectively dodged trouble for five innings, allowing only a solo home run by Canha before handing a 1-1 game to the bullpen. He was removed having thrown only 82 pitches.

“It’s hard; you want to keep competing,” Quintana said. “I wanted that ‘W’ for the team and for me. I want to win, and it’s hard when we go out but I respect that. We have really good relievers and it is what it is. I respect Joe’s decision.”

Oakland hit eight balls 100 mph or harder against Quintana, not including Canha’s homer. Whether through good luck or good defensive positioning, only three of them landed for hits. Quintana also walked three batters and struck out four.

He reached the end of his rope when Laureano doubled to lead off the sixth inning, then went to third base on a one-out single by Chad Pinder. Mayers inherited the unenviable first-and-third, one-out jam, walked Jed Lowrie, then allowed a two-run double to Sean Murphy. Both runs were charged to Quintana, and the A’s led 3-1.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Angels scored three runs – all with two outs – to re-take the lead. Walsh’s ninth homer of the season narrowed the deficit to 3-2 and sent A’s starter James Kaprielian to the showers. The Orange County native and former UCLA standout allowed two runs in 5⅔ innings in his second career start.

Former Angels right-hander Yusmeiro Petit took over and allowed an infield single to Taylor Ward. Rojas stroked a line drive into left field for a double, sending Ward to third base. Lagares then cleared the bases with another opposite-field line drive, this one into right field. By the time the ball was done rattling around the corner, Lagares had a triple and the Angels led 4-3.

Back on the mound to start the seventh inning, Mayers quickly got into trouble. Canha hit a routine ground ball to Iglesias, who threw the ball away for his ninth error of the season. No American League player has committed more errors.

Canha made the second out of the inning at home plate when Rojas threw a strike from right field. But Mayers walked Matt Olson, then allowed the three-run home run to Pinder.

Mayers, Watson and Raisel Iglesias “were pretty rested coming into it,” Maddon said. “They all were in good shape for tonight. What (Quintana) did permitted us to do what we wanted to do. It just didn’t work out.”

Iglesias allowed home runs to Laureano and Lowrie in the ninth inning in a non-save situation, providing the final score.

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Shohei Ohtani’s two-way play, Jared Walsh’s walk-off homer lead Angels

  • The Angels celebrate as Jared Walsh, center, crosses home plate after hitting a walk-off, three-run home run in the ninth inning of Sunday night’s 7-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) throws a ball to fans as he warms up before a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels is congratulated by catcher Max Stassi #33 in the first inning during the game against the Chicago White Sox at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease throws to the plate against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani hits a solo home run against pitcher Dylan Cease of the Chicago White Sox during the first inning of Sunday’s game at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) runs the bases after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 04: Starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels rounds third base after hitting a one run home run against pitcher Dylan Cease #84 of the Chicago White Sox during the first inning of the game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17) celebrates after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • A family takes a photo on Easter Sunday before a baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Angels Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 04: Starting pitcher Dylan Cease #84 of the Chicago White Sox reacts after loading up the bases against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 04: Starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels throws a pitch against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning of the game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts after the last out of the second inning against the Chicago White Sox at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) and catcher Max Stassi (33) bumps fists as they walk to the dugout after the top of the second inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Max Stassi (33) is safe at first ahead of a throw to Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Chicago White Sox’s Billy Hamilton, bottom, steals second base ahead of a throw to Los Angeles Angels second baseman David Fletcher (22) during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 04: Billy Hamilton of the Chicago White Sox steals second base with David Fletcher #22 of the Los Angeles Angels looking on during the third inning of the game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) throws during the third inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Billy Hamilton of the Chicago White Sox teas the back of pitcher Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels after the last out of the third inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. Hamilton stole a base against Ohtani during the third inning. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout (27) flies out to center field during the third inning against the Chicago White Sox in a baseball game Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Chicago White Sox shortstop Leury Garcia (28) fields a ground ball hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Anthony Rendon during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels shortstop Jose Iglesias (4) throws to first base during a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Saturday, April 3, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Angels right fielder Juan Lagares (19) dives to catch a line drive hit by Chicago White Sox’s Billy Hamilton during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Chicago White Sox’s Leury Garcia (28) makes it safely to first ahead of a throw to Los Angeles Angels first baseman Jared Walsh (20) during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 04: Starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts after loading up the bases during the fifth inning of the game against Chicago White Sox at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. Ohtani was injured on the play and had to leave the game. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • The Chicago White Sox’s Leury Garcia (28) high-fives designated hitter Yermin Mercedes (73) after scoring on a wild pitch by Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 04: Jose Abreu #79 of the Chicago White Sox with pitcher Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels at home plate during the fifth inning of the game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. Ohtani was injured on the play and had to leave the game. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) and Chicago White Sox’s Jose Abreu (79) collide at home plate, after a passed ball during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. Abreu and Adam Eaton both scored. Ohtani left the game. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Chicago White Sox’s Jose Abreu (79) checks on Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani, right, after they collided at home plate, following a passed ball during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. Abreu and Adam Eaton both scored. Ohtani left the game. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 04: Starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels is injured after colliding with Jose Abreu #79 of the Chicago White Sox at home plate as he was scoring a run after a wild pitch during the fifth inning of the game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels fans pose for a photo with a picture of starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani during the second inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani walks off the field during the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. Ohtani and White Sox’s Jose Abreu collided at the plate while Ohtani was covering after a passed ball. Abreu and Adam Eaton both scored. Ohtani left the game. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Two fans reach for a ball thrown to them by Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani before of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Jared Walsh (20) high-fives Jose Iglesias (4) after Walsh hit a home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton, right, is hit by a pitch from Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Aaron Bummer during the seventh inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Chicago White Sox’s Nick Madrigal is hit by a pitch from Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Raisel Iglesias during the ninth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) is short of catching a throw to third from relief pitcher Raisel Iglesias during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. Chicago White Sox’ Nick Madrigal scored. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • White Sox outfielder Luis Robert leaps at the left field wall but is unable to catch the game-winning three-run home run by the Angels’ Jared Walsh in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Jared Walsh (20) throws down his batting helmet as he runs to home plate after hitting a home run during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. Dexter Fowler and Anthony Rendon also scored. The Angels won 7-4. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Jared Walsh (20) celebrates as he runs to home plate after hitting a home run during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. Dexter Fowler and Anthony Rendon also scored. The Angels won 7-4. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Fans waits to enter Angel Stadium of Anaheim for the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox baseball game on April 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Fans waits to enter Angel Stadium of Anaheim for the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox baseball game on April 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 04: Starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels throws a pitch against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning of the game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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ANAHEIM — After dealing with injuries that prevented him from performing at his peak as a two-way player for nearly three years, Shohei Ohtani had been waiting to reacquaint the baseball world with the scope of his talents.

He took care of that in the first 15 minutes of the Angels’ 7-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday night, which ended on Jared Walsh’s walk-off homer, his second of the night.

Ohtani threw the one of his nine pitches at 100 mph in the top of the first, and in the bottom of the inning he blasted a 451-foot homer, the ball leaving his bat at 115 mph.

“What he did tonight was pretty special and you’re going to see a lot more of that,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “It was fun to watch. I think everybody was entertained. That’s what he signed up to do and you’re going to see more of it.”

It was the jaw-dropping opening to a nationally televised game that certainly helped answer questions about whether Ohtani could really pull off what no player — other than him — had done in 100 years.

Babe Ruth was the last player to be successful as a hitter and a pitcher before Ohtani did it for the first half of 2018, but injuries had kept him from doing it since. Even in 2018, though, he never hit and pitched in the same game, as he did on Sunday.

“I’m glad I got this game under my belt,” Ohtani said through his interpreter. “It will lead to more confidence… It’s just one game. I’m going to take it one game at a time. I’m not out to prove the doubters wrong or anything.”

What’s more, the Angels won the game, taking three of four in the season-opening series from one of the best teams in the league.

The Angels, who took a one-run lead on a Walsh homer in the fifth, were two outs from winning it in the top of the ninth. Closer Raisel Iglesias stabbed a comebacker and made an errant throw to third, allowing the tying run to score.

They won it anyway. Dexter Fowler led off the bottom of the ninth with a single and went to second on an Anthony Rendon walk.

Walsh then launched a ball over the fence in left-center.

It was the dramatic finish to a night that that ended for Ohtani in a wild — and frightening — sequence back in the fifth.

With a 3-1 lead, two on and two out, Ohtani threw a two-strike pitch that Yoan Moncada swung through, but catcher Max Stassi had the ball tick off his glove and roll about 25 feet from the plate. Stassi’s rushed throw to first skipped past Walsh as José Abreu came steaming around to try to score the second White  Sox run on the play.

Ohtani was covering the plate and leapt just as Abreu — who is 6-3, 235 pounds — slid into him. Ohtani got up slowly, but was able to walk off the field on his own power, ending his night.

“I feel fine as of now,” Ohtani said. “When the collision happened the impact was kind of big. I couldn’t get up right away, but after time I felt much better… It wasn’t as bad as it looked.”

Ohtani might not have even been in the game for that collision if Maddon had not shown confidence in him by leaving him out to try to escape the jam even after he’d given up a run on on a hit and two walks.

“That’s how a guy becomes a guy,” Maddon said. “You gotta give him that opportunity, especially this time of year. If he does that now and is able to fight through it, he will know what he’s capable of. If you are constantly taking guys out of troubling situations they are never going to find out.”

Ohtani said he was “really grateful for Joe letting me face that extra hitter.”

Those two unearned runs did little to detract from what Ohtani had done on the mound, though.

He threw 92 pitches, consistently hitting 97-99 mph with his fastball and peaking at 101. He hadn’t allowed a run through four innings, and he ended the fourth with a three-pitch strikeout of Luis Robert to strand two runners.

Ohtani then pumped his fist and screamed at the most exciting of his seven strikeouts.

Ohtani had a nice night at the plate too, which was encouraging after he’d gone 2 for 13 with six strikeouts in the first three games.

His first-inning homer was a monster shot on a first-pitch 97-mph fastball from Dylan Cease. In the second inning, Ohtani smoked a 109 mph laser into center field, but it was caught. He grounded out in his final at-bat.

Ohtani said he felt “almost perfect” at the plate, and Maddon said that probably carried over to the way he pitched.

“It’s all interconnected,” Maddon said. “Everything we do is interconnected. He is a very introspective bright young man who loves to play baseball. Let’s stay out of his way. Let him play baseball and see what happens.”

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Shohei Ohtani stars with his arm and bat, Jared Walsh hits walk-off homer to lead Angels

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) and Chicago White Sox’s Jose Abreu (79) collide at home plate, after a passed ball during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. Abreu and Adam Eaton both scored. Ohtani left the game. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Chicago White Sox’s Jose Abreu (79) checks on Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani, right, after they collided at home plate, following a passed ball during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. Abreu and Adam Eaton both scored. Ohtani left the game. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels is congratulated by catcher Max Stassi #33 in the first inning during the game against the Chicago White Sox at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts after the last out of the second inning against the Chicago White Sox at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Billy Hamilton of the Chicago White Sox teas the back of pitcher Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels after the last out of the third inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. Hamilton stole a base against Ohtani during the third inning. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • A family takes a photo on Easter Sunday before a baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Angels Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Max Stassi (33) is safe at first ahead of a throw to Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels fans pose for a photo with a picture of starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani during the second inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Chicago White Sox shortstop Leury Garcia (28) fields a ground ball hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Anthony Rendon during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) runs the bases after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17) celebrates after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) walks across the field as he warms up before a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) warms up before a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) throws a ball to fans as he warms up before a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Fans waits to enter Angel Stadium of Anaheim for the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox baseball game on April 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Fans waits to enter Angel Stadium of Anaheim for the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox baseball game on April 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Chicago White Sox’s Billy Hamilton, bottom, steals second base ahead of a throw to Los Angeles Angels second baseman David Fletcher (22) during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) throws during the third inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani walks off the field during the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. Ohtani and White Sox’s Jose Abreu collided at the plate while Ohtani was covering after a passed ball. Abreu and Adam Eaton both scored. Ohtani left the game. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

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ANAHEIM — After dealing with injuries that prevented him from performing at his peak as a two-way player for nearly three years, Shohei Ohtani had been waiting to reacquaint the baseball world with the scope of his talents.

He took care of that in the first 15 minutes of the Angels’ 7-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday night, which ended on Jared Walsh’s walk-off homer, his second of the night.

Ohtani threw the one of his nine pitches at 100 mph in the top of the first, and in the bottom of the inning he blasted a 451-foot homer, the ball leaving his bat at 115 mph.

“What he did tonight was pretty special and you’re going to see a lot more of that,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “It was fun to watch. I think everybody was entertained. That’s what he signed up to do and you’re going to see more of it.”

It was the jaw-dropping opening to a nationally televised game that certainly helped answer questions about whether Ohtani could really pull off what no player — other than him — had done in 100 years.

Babe Ruth was the last player to be successful as a hitter and a pitcher before Ohtani did it for the first half of 2018, but injuries had kept him from doing it since. Even in 2018, though, he never hit and pitched in the same game, as he did on Sunday.

“I’m glad I got this game under my belt,” Ohtani said through his interpreter. “It will lead to more confidence… It’s just one game. I’m going to take it one game at a time. I’m not out to prove the doubters wrong or anything.”

What’s more, the Angels won the game, taking three of four in the season-opening series from one of the best teams in the league.

The Angels, who took a one-run lead on a Walsh homer in the fifth, were two outs from winning it in the top of the ninth. Closer Raisel Iglesias stabbed a comebacker and made an errant throw to third, allowing the tying run to score.

They won it anyway. Dexter Fowler led off the bottom of the ninth with a single and went to second on an Anthony Rendon walk.

Walsh then launched a ball over the fence in left-center.

It was the dramatic finish to a night that that ended for Ohtani in a wild — and frightening — sequence back in the fifth.

With a 3-1 lead, two on and two out, Ohtani threw a two-strike pitch that Yoan Moncada swung through, but catcher Max Stassi had the ball tick off his glove and roll about 25 feet from the plate. Stassi’s rushed throw to first skipped past Walsh as José Abreu came steaming around to try to score the second White  Sox run on the play.

Ohtani was covering the plate and leapt just as Abreu — who is 6-3, 235 pounds — slid into him. Ohtani got up slowly, but was able to walk off the field on his own power, ending his night.

“I feel fine as of now,” Ohtani said. “When the collision happened the impact was kind of big. I couldn’t get up right away, but after time I felt much better… It wasn’t as bad as it looked.”

Ohtani might not have even been in the game for that collision if Maddon had not shown confidence in him by leaving him out to try to escape the jam even after he’d given up a run on on a hit and two walks.

“That’s how a guy becomes a guy,” Maddon said. “You gotta give him that opportunity, especially this time of year. If he does that now and is able to fight through it, he will know what he’s capable of. If you are constantly taking guys out of troubling situations they are never going to find out.”

Ohtani said he was “really grateful for Joe letting me face that extra hitter.”

Those two unearned runs did little to detract from what Ohtani had done on the mound, though.

He threw 92 pitches, consistently hitting 97-99 mph with his fastball and peaking at 101. He hadn’t allowed a run through four innings, and he ended the fourth with a three-pitch strikeout of Luis Robert to strand two runners.

Ohtani then pumped his fist and screamed at the most exciting of his seven strikeouts.

Ohtani had a nice night at the plate too, which was encouraging after he’d gone 2 for 13 with six strikeouts in the first three games.

His first-inning homer was a monster shot on a first-pitch 97-mph fastball from Dylan Cease. In the second inning, Ohtani smoked a 109 mph laser into center field, but it was caught. He grounded out in his final at-bat.

Ohtani said he felt “almost perfect” at the plate, and Maddon said that probably carried over to the way he pitched.

“It’s all interconnected,” Maddon said. “Everything we do is interconnected. He is a very introspective bright young man who loves to play baseball. Let’s stay out of his way. Let him play baseball and see what happens.”

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Angels’ Shohei Ohtani develops blister, loses to Dodgers in final spring training start

  • The Dodgers’ Will Smith (16) is congratulated by teammates Max Muncy, left, and A.J. Pollock after hitting a three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning of Monday’s Freeway Series exhibition game against the Angels at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Corey Seager (5) rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the bottom of the second inning during their game against the Angels at Dodger Stadium, Friday, Mar. 29, 2021. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Angels pitcher Junior Guerra (41) during their game against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Friday, Mar. 29, 2021. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor (3) rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the bottom of the second inning during their game against the Angels at Dodger Stadium, Friday, Mar. 29, 2021. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor (3) hits a home run in the bottom of the second inning during their game against the Angels at Dodger Stadium, Friday, Mar. 29, 2021. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Will Smith (16) rounds the bases after hitting a 3-run home run in the bottom of the third inning during their game against the Angels at Dodger Stadium, Friday, Mar. 29, 2021. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Corey Seager rounds the bases after hitting a home run off Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, left, in the bottom of the second inning of Monday’s Freeway Series exhibition game at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ A.J. Pollock (11) stands in left field during their game agent the Angels at Dodger Stadium, Friday, Mar. 29, 2021. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 29: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels warms up before the MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Julio Urias #7 of the Los Angeles Dodgers warms up before the MLB game against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels fouls the ball during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels hits a fly out ball during the first inning of an MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout rounds first base as he flies out during the first inning of a spring training exhibition baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Monday, March 29, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts after walking Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers rounds the bases after a two-run home run during the second inning at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates with Gavin Lux #9 after a two-run home run during the second inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani smiles as he warms up before a spring training exhibition baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Monday, March 29, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Corey Seager connects on a solo home run during the second inning of a spring training exhibition baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, March 29, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Corey Seager #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a home run during the second inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Angels starter Shohei Ohtani walks off the mound after giving up a solo home run to Los Angeles Dodgers’ Corey Seager during the second inning of a spring training exhibition baseball game Monday, March 29, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Corey Seager (5) is met in the dugout by manager Dave Roberts, center, after hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning of a spring training exhibition baseball game Monday, March 29, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts after giving up a three run home run to Will Smith #16 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urias throws to the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a spring training exhibition baseball game, Monday, March 29, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Phil Gosselin #13 of the Los Angeles Angels rounds the bases after a home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 29: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on during warm-up before the MLB game against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 29: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on during warm-up before the MLB game against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Julio Urias #7 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after giving up a home run to Phil Gosselin #13 of the Los Angeles Angels during the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 29: Jose Iglesias #4 of the Los Angeles Angels lays out to catch the ball during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 29: Jose Iglesias #4 of the Los Angeles Angels makes the throw to third base during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger connects on a solo home run during the fifth inning of a spring training exhibition baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Monday, March 29, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger follows through on a solo home run during the fifth inning of a spring training exhibition baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Monday, March 29, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 29: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers rounds the bases after a home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the fifth inning at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 29: Keibert Ruiz #25 of the Los Angeles Dodgers slides into third base against Jose Rojas #80 of the Los Angeles Angels during the seventh inning at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 29: Keibert Ruiz #25 of the Los Angeles Dodgers slides into third base against Jose Rojas #80 of the Los Angeles Angels during the seventh inning at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 29: Keibert Ruiz #25 of the Los Angeles Dodgers slides into third base against Jose Rojas #80 of the Los Angeles Angels during the seventh inning at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 29: Jon Jay #9 of the Los Angeles Angels throws the ball during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • DJ Peters #70, Luke Raley #62 and Matt Beaty #45 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate their 10-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate their 10-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Angels first baseman Albert Pujols, left, talks to Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner before a spring training exhibition baseball game Monday, March 29, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • A general view at Dodger Stadium before the game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels on March 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES ― With two exhibition games remaining, the Angels and Dodgers could see the finish line. Every team’s goal for spring training – to begin the regular season without a major injury – was well within reach.

Then Shohei Ohtani decided to make things interesting.

The final score of Monday night’s Freeway Series game was not. Making his final spring training appearance as a pitcher, Ohtani allowed seven runs in 2⅓ innings, and the Dodgers beat the Angels, 10-2, inside a mostly empty Dodger Stadium.

The more serious concern was a blister on Ohtani’s right middle finger that caused him to lose command of his fastball and hastened his early exit.

“I’m not too worried for my next outing,” Ohtani said through his interpreter. “I’m glad the blister peeled off today before the games actually matter.”

Ohtani said the blister surfaced in his previous pitching appearance, a smooth four-inning start against the Padres on March 21. He played two games as the Angels’ designated hitter in the meantime, even hitting a home run.

Back on the mound Monday, Ohtani’s command betrayed him from the outset. He walked Corey Seager, Justin Turner and A.J. Pollock to load the bases in the first inning. Max Muncy ultimately struck out to end the inning, but he only saw one fastball in the at-bat – a 99-mph heater in the dirt that got past catcher Kurt Suzuki, allowing a run to score.

The next two innings saw more of the same. Ohtani walked Will Smith, then hung a slider that Chris Taylor deposited in left-center field for a home run. Ohtani fell behind Seager 3-and-0, and Seager hit his eighth home run of spring training to give the Dodgers a 4-0 lead.

Ohtani’s night ended when Will Smith crushed a hanging curveball for a three-run home run in the third inning. The right-hander threw 63 pitches, only 31 for strikes.

While Ohtani said the focus was on increasing his pitch count, his health became a question mark as the Angels plan their starting pitching assignments to begin the season.

“Right now I’ve been told it’s not going to affect” Ohtani making his first start of the season against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, Manager Joe Maddon said. “Adam (Nevala), our trainer, was pretty certain that he’s going to be fine, or he is fine.”

“I have a whole week ahead of me to try to toughen it up,” Ohtani said.

Actually, Ohtani will have only five days’ rest between starts for the first time since he left Japan to sign with the Angels. None of his 12 major league starts have come on fewer than six days’ rest.

In another first, Ohtani will be in the Angels’ lineup one day after he pitches. He’ll serve as the Angels’ designated hitter on Tuesday night in the Freeway Series finale. Swinging a bat, Maddon said, should not affect the blister on Ohtani’s finger.

Dodgers starter Julio Urías, by contrast, had a pleasantly uneventful return home. The left-hander didn’t allow a hit until Phil Gosselin hit a solo home run in the fourth inning to put the Angels on the board. Urías didn’t allow another run in 5⅔ innings, did not walk a batter, and struck out three.

“It was a very methodical spring,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Urías. “We feel really good where he’s at right now. He could’ve kept going a little bit longer. With Julio, his entire mix, everything, worked ahead all night.”

Cody Bellinger hit the Dodgers’ fourth home run of the game, a solo blast against Junior Guerra. Left fielder Pollock returned to the lineup one day after he was scratched due to illness and drew a pair of walks in four plate appearances.

Corey Knebel, Kenley Jansen and Jimmy Nelson did not allow a run out of the Dodgers’ bullpen. Scott Alexander, who’s in the running for the final bullpen job, allowed one run in the ninth inning.

“Overall on the pitching side,” Roberts said, “we accomplished what we hoped.”

Dustin May will start for the Dodgers (12-11-5) and left-hander Jose Quintana will start for the Angels (13-12-2) in the rubber match Tuesday. Both teams are expected to use a designated hitter in the final exhibition game of 2021.

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