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

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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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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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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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Andrelton Simmons, Shohei Ohtani injured in Angels’ loss

  • The Angels’ Andrelton Simmons, center, is helped up by Manager Brad Ausmus, left, and a trainer after he injured his left ankle while trying to beat out a throw to first base during the eighth inning of Monday’s game against the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 20: Kole Calhoun #56 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim strikes ouf and throws his bat during the sixth inning of a game against the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 20, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

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  • Los Angeles Angels’ Brian Goodwin gestures toward first after scoring on a single by Tommy La Stella during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins Monday, May 20, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Brian Goodwin, left, is congratulated by Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, after scoring on a single by Tommy La Stella during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins Monday, May 20, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, winces as he injures his hand while swinging at strike three during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins Monday, May 20, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 20: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts to injuring his hand as he strikes out during the eighth inning of a game against the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 20, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 20: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts to injuring his hand as he strikes out during the eighth inning of a game against the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 20, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 20: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts to injuring his hand as he strikes out during the eighth inning of a game against the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 20, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, winces after injuring his hand while swinging at strike three during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins Monday, May 20, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, left, of Japan, is attended to by a trainer and manager Brad Ausmus, second from left, after injuring his hand while swinging at strike three during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Monday, May 20, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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ANAHEIM — Of all the bad things that happened to the Angels in the eighth inning of their 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Monday night, the least troubling was probably that they allowed the go-ahead runs.

“That was a pretty creepy inning,” said Ty Buttrey, who gave up a two-run homer to snap a tie game. “You couldn’t have drawn it up any worse than that.”

A few minutes after Buttrey gave up the two-run homer to Miguel Sano in the top of the eighth, both Andrelton Simmons and Shohei Ohtani suffered injuries.

Ohtani was hit in the right ring finger while striking out. Adding insult to injury, literally, the Angels didn’t even get a baserunner out of it because Ohtani was swinging at the pitch. X-rays showed no fracture, so Ohtani will be evaluated again on Tuesday.

Moments after that, though, Simmons sprained his left ankle as he was lunging to try to beat out an infield hit. His ankle twisted in gruesome fashion as he hit the bag. He rolled onto the ground in pain and had to be helped off the field.

An X-ray showed no fracture, but Simmons will undergo an MRI on Tuesday to determine the severity of the sprain.

Mike Trout said he didn’t even want to look at the replay of Simmons’ injury, and he didn’t have much to say to Simmons other than giving him a hug.

“He was kind of emotional and upset,” Trout said. “It’s tough. … It just kind of deflates you when you see guys go down, especially a guy who’s been having an unbelievable season so far, making unbelievable plays. The reaction said it all. Obviously, he was in pain. It was just tough.”

Neither Simmons nor Ohtani were available to comment after the game, both remaining in the trainers’ room for treatment.

“I feel like Shohei, by all indications he should be fine,” Manager Brad Ausmus said. “Quicker timeframe. We don’t know what Simba’s time frame is. That’s probably the bigger concern right now. We don’t want to lose either one of them. But it seems like the injury to Simba at this point might be a little bit more dire. But we’ll know more tomorrow, we don’t want to guess as to what the final diagnosis will be.”

Ausmus also wouldn’t speculate as to just how the Angels would replace either one.

David Fletcher can play shortstop, but he’s better defensively at second and third. The best defensive shortstop is Zack Cozart, but he’s been in a deep slump at the plate the entire season.

The Angels also could bring up Luís Rengifo or Taylor Ward. Rengifo can play shortstop and second, and he’s recently added third to his repertoire. Ward has been playing third for just more than a season, and within the last month he’s also started playing first base and left field.

Albert Pujols likely would get most of the DH at-bats while Ohtani is out, with first base being handled by Jared Walsh and perhaps Ward or even Matt Thaiss. Justin Bour was recently sent down, but the Angels would likely wait for him to show improvement at the plate before bringing him back.

“Next guy up mentality,” Trout said. “That’s the way we have to look at it. We’ve got to stay positive. It’s tough when you lose a guy like that, a part of the team. But we’ve got to get through it.”

The injuries in the bottom of the eighth occurred just moments after Buttrey had a rare bad outing, losing a game the Angels had tied on Tommy La Stella’s third hit, in the seventh.

Buttrey had not allowed a homer in the first 41 innings of his big league career, and this season he’d allowed just two runs in 23-2/3 innings, with 31 strikeouts.

After a single in the eighth, he threw a 2-and-0 fastball over the middle of the plate at Sano’s knees, and he blasted it just over the fence in right field.

“First home run sucks, but I’m sure I had to get it out of the way sometime,” Buttrey said. “Hopefully I don’t make a trend of that, which I won’t. That’s baseball.”

The loss also spoiled another encouraging performance from the Angels on a night when they started with Taylor Cole as the opener for Félix Peña.

Cole worked around two hits to pitch a scoreless inning, with the help of a slick double play started by second baseman La Stella. So far, the Angels’ openers have allowed one run in seven first innings.

Peña then took over and did exactly what the Angels had hoped.

He gave up a run in the second inning – one that scored because Byron Buxton beat the back end of a potential double play by inches – and then nothing else.

Peña did not allow the Twins to get another runner into scoring position through his five innings. So far in Peña’s five games following an opener he has a 2.73 ERA. He has pitched at least five innings in four of the games, and he pitched 4-1/3 innings in the other.

“I thought he did a really nice job,” Ausmus said. “I thought the pitching did a nice job. That’s a good offense over there and we held them to three runs.”

“X-Rays were negative, so that is a good sign”

Brad Ausmus with an update on Ohtani and Simmons who were both injured during the 8th inning pic.twitter.com/xW6LglScu5

— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) May 21, 2019

“It’s tough to lose guys like that but we’ve got to stay up”

Mike Trout on watching Simmons and Ohtani go down in the same inning pic.twitter.com/r5wDjJn9Ho

— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) May 21, 2019

This doesn’t look good. https://t.co/Scsz1I0hEL

— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) May 21, 2019

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A bounceback by Garrett Richards leads Angels to victory over Mariners

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani swings and misses a pitch from the Seattle Mariners in the second inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. Ohtani struck out on the turn. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani swings and misses a pitch from the Seattle Mariners in the second inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. Ohtani struck out on the turn. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons looks down after leaping to catch the ball and tries to tag Seattle Mariners’ Dee Gordon as he slides safely into second base on a stolen base in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons looks down after leaping to catch the ball and tries to tag Seattle Mariners’ Dee Gordon as he slides safely into second base on a stolen base in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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  • Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, top, looks down after leaping to catch the ball as Seattle Mariners’ Dee Gordon slides safely into second base on a stolen base in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, top, looks down after leaping to catch the ball as Seattle Mariners’ Dee Gordon slides safely into second base on a stolen base in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Mike Leake throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Mike Leake throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards tries to field a soft ground ball as Seattle Mariners’ fielder Dee Gordon reaches first during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards tries to field a soft ground ball as Seattle Mariners’ fielder Dee Gordon reaches first during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout doubles against the Seattle Mariners in the third inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout doubles against the Seattle Mariners in the third inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, right, tags Seattle Mariners’ Dee Gordon who is safe at second following a wild pitch in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, right, tags Seattle Mariners’ Dee Gordon who is safe at second following a wild pitch in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols lines out to end the first inning against the Seattle Mariners during their baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols lines out to end the first inning against the Seattle Mariners during their baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani slides safely into home to score against the Seattle Mariners in the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani slides safely into home to score against the Seattle Mariners in the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Andrelton Simmons singles in a run against the Seattle Mariners in the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Andrelton Simmons singles in a run against the Seattle Mariners in the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun, right, starts to first as Seattle Mariners catcher David Freitas looks on in the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. Calhoun grounded into a double play, but drove in a run on the play. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun, right, starts to first as Seattle Mariners catcher David Freitas looks on in the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. Calhoun grounded into a double play, but drove in a run on the play. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani singles against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani singles against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani dives safely back to first base after making a brief run toward second on his single in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani dives safely back to first base after making a brief run toward second on his single in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani celebrates in the dugout after scoring against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani celebrates in the dugout after scoring against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, right, strikes out on a foul tip against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, right, strikes out on a foul tip against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols advances to third on a throwing error by Seattle Mariners center fielder Dee Gordon on a single by Shohei Ohtani during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols advances to third on a throwing error by Seattle Mariners center fielder Dee Gordon on a single by Shohei Ohtani during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols celebrates in the dugout after scoring on a single by Andrelton Simmons against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols celebrates in the dugout after scoring on a single by Andrelton Simmons against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • A fan holds up a sign of the current number of hits by Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols as he comes to the plate in the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. Pujols hit a single in the fifth inning, the 3,000th hit of his career. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    A fan holds up a sign of the current number of hits by Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols as he comes to the plate in the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. Pujols hit a single in the fifth inning, the 3,000th hit of his career. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols singles against the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. The hit was his 3,000th career hit. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols singles against the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. The hit was his 3,000th career hit. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols (5) celebrates near first base coach Alfredo Griffin (4) and Seattle Mariners first baseman Ryon Healy after Pujols gets his 3,000th career hit during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols (5) celebrates near first base coach Alfredo Griffin (4) and Seattle Mariners first baseman Ryon Healy after Pujols gets his 3,000th career hit during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols waves his helmet to fans after hitting a single against the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. The hit was his 3,000th of his career. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols waves his helmet to fans after hitting a single against the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. The hit was his 3,000th of his career. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols acknowledges the crowd after a line-drive single for his 3,000th career hit, against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols acknowledges the crowd after a line-drive single for his 3,000th career hit, against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • A scoreboard reflects the single of Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols (5) against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. The hit is Pujols’ 3,000th of his career. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    A scoreboard reflects the single of Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols (5) against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. The hit is Pujols’ 3,000th of his career. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia embraces Albert Pujols (5) after Pujols hit a single off Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Mike Leake (8) for his 3,000th career hit, in the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia embraces Albert Pujols (5) after Pujols hit a single off Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Mike Leake (8) for his 3,000th career hit, in the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, embraces first base coach Alfredo Griffin after hitting a single against the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. The hit is the 3,000th of Pujols’ career. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, embraces first base coach Alfredo Griffin after hitting a single against the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. The hit is the 3,000th of Pujols’ career. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels walk out to congratulate Albert Pujols (5) after he hit a single against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. The hit is Pujols’ 3,000th of his career. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels walk out to congratulate Albert Pujols (5) after he hit a single against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. The hit is Pujols’ 3,000th of his career. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols celebrates with Mike Trout between the top and bottom of the fifth inning after Pujols singled for his 3,000th career hit, against the Seattle Mariners in a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols celebrates with Mike Trout between the top and bottom of the fifth inning after Pujols singled for his 3,000th career hit, against the Seattle Mariners in a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, second from left, hugs third base coach Dino Ebel, left, while first base coach Alfredo Griffin carries first base, after Pujols singled for his 3,000th career hit, against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, second from left, hugs third base coach Dino Ebel, left, while first base coach Alfredo Griffin carries first base, after Pujols singled for his 3,000th career hit, against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Seattle Mariners catcher David Freitas, left, and starting pitcher Mike Leake talk after Leake gave up a run to the Los Angeles Angels during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Seattle Mariners catcher David Freitas, left, and starting pitcher Mike Leake talk after Leake gave up a run to the Los Angeles Angels during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04: Garrett Richards #43 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

    SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04: Garrett Richards #43 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

  • SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04:  Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels runs to third base in the fourth inning against the Seattle Mariners during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

    SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels runs to third base in the fourth inning against the Seattle Mariners during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

  • SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04:  Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates after hitting a single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners to reach 3,000 career hits during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

    SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates after hitting a single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners to reach 3,000 career hits during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

  • SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04:  Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels hits a single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners that would be his 3,000th career hits during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

    SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels hits a single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners that would be his 3,000th career hits during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

  • SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels smiles on base after hitting a single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners to reach 3,000 career hits during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

    SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels smiles on base after hitting a single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners to reach 3,000 career hits during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

  • SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04:  Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels (middle) celebrates with teammates after hitting a single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners to reach 3,000 career hits during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

    SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels (middle) celebrates with teammates after hitting a single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners to reach 3,000 career hits during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

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SEATTLE — Garrett Richards clearly made the right mechanical adjustments in between starts.

After tweaking his delivery in the wake of an ugly outing, Richards responded by tossing 6-2/3 innings in the Angels’ 5-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.

While Albert Pujols’ 3,000th hit was the most significant historical moment in the game, in the scope of the Angels season Richards’ performance can not be overlooked.

Richards, the Angels’ most experienced starter, likely needs to perform to his potential if the team is going to contend. So far this season, he had been inconsistent, hitting a low point by allowing nine runs (five earned) against the New York Yankees last week.

That led to some extra work with pitching coach Charlie Nagy.

“Me and Nags, in between starts the last couple weeks, have been ironing out some things and getting me back in the zone,” Richards said. “It’s rhythm and tempo and mechanical stuff. My mindset is still there. I’m trying to attack guys and fill up the zone and get ahead in counts. Nothing’s changed as far as that goes, just really kind of finding a happy medium with my tempo going toward the plate to help me be a little more consistent.”

After “simplifying” his delivery, he said, and using a little less effort to improve his control, he dominated a Mariners team that had scored 44 runs in its previous seven games.

Richards gave up four singles, two of which didn’t make it out of the infield. He struck out eight and walked one, after averaging more than six walks per nine innings so far this season.

Richards needed only 86 pitches to get 20 outs, a performance that was far more efficient than the work he or the other Angels starters had been providing this season.

“I thought Garrett was great,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “I thought once he found his release point. He was in the zone the way we know he can be… It’s a good game for Garrett and hopefully it gets him to be that consistent pitcher that he is. His stuff is great. Tonight he had command of it.”

Justin Anderson got the final out of the seventh and three in the eighth before Jim Johnson finished off the Angels’ fourth consecutive victory.

Thanks to the pitching – and three double plays – the Angels didn’t need any more than the two runs they got in the fourth inning. Andrelton Simmons drove in one with a single and another scored on a double play, as the Angels didn’t get much of a bases-loaded, no-out situation.

In the fifth, Shohei Ohtani drove in a run with a double, his second hit of the game.

The Angels also wasted a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the eighth, when Kole Calhoun struck out and René Rivera broke his bat on a dribbler that the Mariners converted into a double play.

Read more about A bounceback by Garrett Richards leads Angels to victory over Mariners This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

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Nick Tropeano, Angels prove no match for sizzling Red Sox

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout, left, comforts home plate umpire Jerry Layne, who was hit in the arm by a foul tip during the first inning of a baseball game between the Angels and the Boston Red Sox in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. Layne left the game. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout, left, comforts home plate umpire Jerry Layne, who was hit in the arm by a foul tip during the first inning of a baseball game between the Angels and the Boston Red Sox in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. Layne left the game. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 19:  Nick Tropeano #35 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches in the first inning during the MLB game against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium on April 19, 2018 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

    ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 19: Nick Tropeano #35 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches in the first inning during the MLB game against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium on April 19, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

  • Boston Red Sox’s Mookie Betts celebrates his home run with Andrew Benintendi, during the first inning of a baseball game against the Anaheim Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Boston Red Sox’s Mookie Betts celebrates his home run with Andrew Benintendi, during the first inning of a baseball game against the Anaheim Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Nick Tropeano watches a throw to a Boston Red Sox batter during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Nick Tropeano watches a throw to a Boston Red Sox batter during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez throws to a Los Angeles Angels batter during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez throws to a Los Angeles Angels batter during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, runs to first during the second inning of the team’s baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. Ohtani was out at first. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, runs to first during the second inning of the team’s baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. Ohtani was out at first. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Zack Cozart hits an RBI-single against the Boston Red Sox during the second inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Zack Cozart hits an RBI-single against the Boston Red Sox during the second inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Andrelton Simmons scores past Boston Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez on a single by Zack Cozart during the second inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Andrelton Simmons scores past Boston Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez on a single by Zack Cozart during the second inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Andrelton Simmons celebrates in the dugout after scoring on a single by Zack Cozart during the second inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Andrelton Simmons celebrates in the dugout after scoring on a single by Zack Cozart during the second inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers throws to second for the force on Los Angeles Angels’ Ian Kinsler on a ball hit by Mike Trout, who was safe at first during the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers throws to second for the force on Los Angeles Angels’ Ian Kinsler on a ball hit by Mike Trout, who was safe at first during the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, reacts after a strike during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, reacts after a strike during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 19: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts after a swing and a miss on a pitch during the fourth inning of the MLB game against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium on April 19, 2018 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

    ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 19: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts after a swing and a miss on a pitch during the fourth inning of the MLB game against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium on April 19, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, leaves the batter’s box after striking out against the Boston Red Sox during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, leaves the batter’s box after striking out against the Boston Red Sox during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Boston Red Sox’s Hanley Ramirez, left, scores past Los Angeles Angels catcher Martin Maldonado on a double by J.D. Martinez during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Boston Red Sox’s Hanley Ramirez, left, scores past Los Angeles Angels catcher Martin Maldonado on a double by J.D. Martinez during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Boston Red Sox’s Hanley Ramirez celebrates in the dugout after scoring on a double by J.D. Martinez during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Boston Red Sox’s Hanley Ramirez celebrates in the dugout after scoring on a double by J.D. Martinez during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout breaks his bat and grounds out against the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout breaks his bat and grounds out against the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Chris Young celebrates after his home run against the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Chris Young celebrates after his home run against the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani of Japan, reacts after striking out to end the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani of Japan, reacts after striking out to end the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers fields a ball hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Ian Kinsler during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. Kinsler was thrown out at first. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers fields a ball hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Ian Kinsler during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. Kinsler was thrown out at first. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Boston Red Sox’s J.D. Martinez doubles against the Los Angeles Angels during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Boston Red Sox’s J.D. Martinez doubles against the Los Angeles Angels during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Boston Red Sox’s Rafael Devers, left, is forced out at second by Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons while trying to advance on a ball hit by Eduardo Nunez during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Boston Red Sox’s Rafael Devers, left, is forced out at second by Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons while trying to advance on a ball hit by Eduardo Nunez during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Boston Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly celebrates the team’s 8-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels in a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Boston Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly celebrates the team’s 8-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels in a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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ANAHEIM — Right-hander Nick Tropeano made his first start at Angel Stadium since July 18, 2016 on Thursday, exactly one week after ending a 633-day layoff because of Tommy John surgery. His first pitch, a fastball, sailed wide of the plate a few minutes past 7 p.m.

Tropeano’s second pitch missed the mark, too.

His third pitch sailed over the left-field fence for a home run.

And so it went for him and for the Angels during an 8-2 loss to the Red Sox, a defeat that extended their first losing streak to three consecutive games and extended Boston’s sizzling start to the season. The Red Sox are a major league-leading 16-2, the best start in the franchise’s 118-year history.

By the end of Boston’s first sweep of the Angels at the Big A since July 2010, the Red Sox had outscored the Angels 27-3 and out-homered them 11-1. A victory would have given the Angels a 14-5 record, equaling the 1982 team’s mark for the franchise’s best start through 19 games.

Tropeano, like Shohei Ohtani on Tuesday and Tyler Skaggs on Wednesday, could not contain the Red Sox. Mookie Betts homered on the third pitch Tropeano threw him to start Thursday’s game, and the Angels were off to another rocky start.

.@mookiebetts and the @RedSox can’t be stopped. pic.twitter.com/M17pWQGP55

— MLB (@MLB) April 20, 2018

No question, Tropeano had his moments. He simply didn’t have enough of them. He gave up five runs and seven hits with three strikeouts and two walks in 5-1/3 innings, falling to 1-1 after making a triumphant return to the majors with 6-2/3 shutout innings in a victory last week in Kansas City.

“Nick battled,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “I don’t know if he was as crisp as in his last start, but he definitely battled. We didn’t swing the bat to help him much. He made a lot of pitches with his back against the wall. We just couldn’t get a couple of outs that could have kept the game closer.

“Those guys (the Red Sox) had a great series and played well and beat us.”

Tropeano lasted longer than plate umpire Jerry Layne, who departed after taking a foul tip off the right elbow from Mike Trout with one out in the first inning. Greg Gibson moved behind the plate from first base to replace Layne and, after an extended delay, the game continued with three umpires.

That’s going to leave a mark. Feel better, Jerry! pic.twitter.com/rxpR1H7MCa

— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) April 20, 2018

In the end, umpiring wasn’t an issue. The red hot Red Sox were the Angels’ problem.

Tropeano got through the second and third innings unscathed, but gave up a run-scoring double to J.D. Martinez and an RBI single to Rafael Devers that broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth. After a scoreless fifth, Tropeano ran into trouble again in the sixth, with Andrew Benintendi homering.

That sweet, sweet @asben16 swing. pic.twitter.com/68pGbTdrcc

— MLB (@MLB) April 20, 2018

Scioscia replaced Tropeano after Martinez’s one-out single. Jose Alvarez then gave up a double to Mitch Moreland and a run-scoring single to Devers that made it 5-2. Jim Johnson replaced Alvarez and got out of further trouble thanks to Andrelton Simmons’ fielding wizardry.

Simmons made a diving stop of Eduardo Nunez’s hard-hit grounder up the middle, then flipped the ball from his glove to second baseman Ian Kinsler to start an inning-ending double play. It prevented the Angels’ three-run deficit from growing as Moreland would have scored easily from third.

.@Andrelton is a wizard. pic.twitter.com/7hscpK5hZn

— MLB (@MLB) April 20, 2018

The Red Sox added one run in the eighth and two more in the ninth, taxing the Angels’ already overworked bullpen. Scioscia used five relievers and later expressed concern about his bullpen heading into the weekend’s series against the San Francisco Giants.

“There’s always concern,” he said. “They’re taking the ball and doing everything they can. We don’t feel they’re at risk when they have time to recover. We’ve had to use them a lot.”

Ohtani returned to the lineup, serving as DH, and batted sixth in their order against Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (2-0). Ohtani went 0 for 3 against Rodriguez, who fed him a steady diet of off-speed pitches and struck him out in the fourth and sixth innings.

“Generally, I handle changeups pretty decently,” Ohtani said through an interpreter. “Today, (Rodriguez) threw a lot of them and also he threw them differently from other pitchers I’ve faced. Also, the changeup itself is a very good pitch, so I just need to keep working on it.”

Chris Young started in place of Kole Calhoun in right field and hit his first homer with the Angels, on a 3-and-2 pitch from Rodriguez to start the fifth. Young’s homer cut the Angels’ deficit to 3-2, but that was as close as they would get to the Red Sox.

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In return from Tommy John surgery, Nick Tropeano pitches sizzling Angels to another victory

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani slides past Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas after hitting a three-run triple during the seventh inning of Thursday’s game in Kansas City, Mo. The Angels won 7-1. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani slides past Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas after hitting a three-run triple during the seventh inning of Thursday’s game in Kansas City, Mo. The Angels won 7-1. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • KANSAS CITY, MO – APRIL 12:  Ian Kinsler #3 of the Los Angeles Angels rounds the bases after hitting a leadoff home run during the 1st inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 12, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

    KANSAS CITY, MO – APRIL 12: Ian Kinsler #3 of the Los Angeles Angels rounds the bases after hitting a leadoff home run during the 1st inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 12, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Ian Kinsler celebrates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Ian Kinsler celebrates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Ian Kennedy throws during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Ian Kennedy throws during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Nick Tropeano throws during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Nick Tropeano throws during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • KANSAS CITY, MO – APRIL 12:  Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels slides safely into second for a double during the 1st inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 12, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

    KANSAS CITY, MO – APRIL 12: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels slides safely into second for a double during the 1st inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 12, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani bats during the second inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani bats during the second inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani bats during the second inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani bats during the second inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani bats during the second inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani bats during the second inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani bats during the second inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani bats during the second inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani walks back to the dugout after striking out during the second inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani walks back to the dugout after striking out during the second inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Nick Tropeano throws during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Nick Tropeano throws during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Kansas City Royals’ Lucas Duda beats the throw to Los Angeles Angels third baseman Luis Valbuena (18) as he advances on a single by Abraham Almonte during the fourth inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Kansas City Royals’ Lucas Duda beats the throw to Los Angeles Angels third baseman Luis Valbuena (18) as he advances on a single by Abraham Almonte during the fourth inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Ian Kennedy winds up during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Ian Kennedy winds up during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost hands the ball to relief pitcher Brandon Maurer (37) during a pitching change in the seventh inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost hands the ball to relief pitcher Brandon Maurer (37) during a pitching change in the seventh inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani watches his three-run triple during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani watches his three-run triple during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani hits during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani hits during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • KANSAS CITY, MO – APRIL 12:  Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels rounds the bases as he hits a triple during the 7th inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 12, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

    KANSAS CITY, MO – APRIL 12: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels rounds the bases as he hits a triple during the 7th inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 12, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17) celebrates with third base coach Dino Ebel (21) after hitting a three-run triple during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17) celebrates with third base coach Dino Ebel (21) after hitting a three-run triple during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • KANSAS CITY, MO – APRIL 12:  Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts after hitting a triple during the 7th inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 12, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

    KANSAS CITY, MO – APRIL 12: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts after hitting a triple during the 7th inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 12, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

  • KANSAS CITY, MO – APRIL 12:  Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels connects on a fielder’s choice during the 9th inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 12, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

    KANSAS CITY, MO – APRIL 12: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels connects on a fielder’s choice during the 9th inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 12, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17) and Mike Trout (27) celebrate after the team’s 7-1 win in a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17) and Mike Trout (27) celebrate after the team’s 7-1 win in a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • The Angels celebrate after a 7-1 win over the Kansas City Royals in a baseball game Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    The Angels celebrate after a 7-1 win over the Kansas City Royals in a baseball game Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • KANSAS CITY, MO – APRIL 12:  Starting pitcher Nick Tropeano #35 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches during the 1st inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 12, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

    KANSAS CITY, MO – APRIL 12: Starting pitcher Nick Tropeano #35 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches during the 1st inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 12, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As Nick Tropeano worked his way through Thursday night’s game, Tyler Skaggs sat in the Angels’ dugout and lived every pitch right along with him.

A couple years ago, on this very same field, Skaggs had experienced what Tropeano was going through, making his long-awaited return to the mound from Tommy John surgery.

Just like Skaggs, Tropeano got through his outing without allowing a run, in a comfortable Angels win. After Tropeano pitched 6-2/3 innings of the Angels’ 7-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals, Skaggs could not have been more proud of his teammate.

Not just for one game. But for the entire journey back.

“Extremely gratifying,” Skaggs said. “You work so hard. You have setbacks. You think about that moment in time when you’re cruising, dominating, back to being a big league pitcher.”

Tropeano’s performance was the latest positive in this joyride of a start the Angels are enjoying. Ian Kinsler and Mike Trout hit homers, and phenom Shohei Ohtani contributed a three-run triple, helping the Angels to their fifth victory in a row.

At 11-3, the Angels equaled the 1979 team for the franchise’s most victories in the first 14 games of a season.

For as much fun as the Angels had on Thursday, probably none of them will remember this game as much as Tropeano will. It had been 633 days since he last pitched in the majors.

“All I wanted to do was get out there and compete,” he said. “For a year and a half, watching your buddies play, and all you want to do is compete. I just wanted to leave it all out on the field.”

The last time the 27-year-old Tropeano was in the Angels’ rotation, he seemed to be just finding his way in the majors, to the tune of a 3.56 ERA in 13 starts in 2016.

Because of the time he’d missed, though, he began this season seventh or eighth on the rotation depth chart. Despite pitching well in the spring, he started the season in Triple-A. Injuries to JC Ramírez and Matt Shoemaker, though, gave him the opportunity, and he made the most of it.

Tropeano worked around a couple jams, getting out of the first with a ground ball double play and the fourth with a line drive double play. He struck out six and walked two, throwing 88 pitches.

“He pitched a great game,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “He pitched with his back against the wall for most of the night, in a tight ballgame. He did a great job of making pitches and getting outs. It gives us a big boost.”

For most of the night, he was clinging to the 1-0 lead supplied by Kinsler’s 47th career leadoff homer – good for fourth all time.

The Angels broke the game open in the seventh.

Kole Calhoun provided a two-out, two-run single. After an Andrelton Simmons walk and a Luis Valbuena infield hit, Ohtani lined his first career triple into right-center field.

OH-my-tani! What can’t Shohei do?

First career triple✔@Angels | @MLBONFOX pic.twitter.com/qwZrKUcxA2

— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) April 13, 2018

Ohtani, who also drew the first intentional walk of his career, is now 9 for 26 (.346) with three homers and 11 RBIs in his first seven games as a major league hitter, including just six starts.

After his triple put the Angels up 6-0, Trout blasted a homer, his third hit of the game, to pad the lead. Trout has eight hits in his last 17 at-bats, with three homers.

The Angels have scored a major league-leading 93 runs, including 52 in their last seven games.

“We’re playing really well,” Kinsler said. “We seem to be meshing really well as a team, getting big hits, coming from behind. Anytime you are playing baseball that way, it’s exciting. Of course you don’t want to get too high, be walking around cocky, but you are going to enjoy the times you are playing really well and try to minimize the adversity during the season.”

A 3-hit day for @JUST_JUP makes him ideal to talk about the @Angels hot offense and #Shotime continuing to do his thing pic.twitter.com/tcNaBCcBZt

— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) April 13, 2018

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