— Sports

Ohtani’s HR helps Angels end skid with 4-2 win over Astros

HOUSTON (AP) – Two-way star Shohei Ohtani highlighted his versatility for the Los Angeles Angels this weekend in a series against the Houston Astros, where he didn’t pitch. Ohtani’s tiebreaking solo home run in the eighth inning helped the Angels win a 4-2 on Sunday to snap a four-game skid. It was the second consecutive game with a homer for Ohtani, who is tied for the MLB lead with seven home runs and is scheduled to pitch on Monday. Yuli Gurriel’s two-run homer tied it in the seventh inning before Ohtani sent a fastball from Luis Garcia 440 feet into center field to put the Angels up 3-2. Garcia (0-2) allowed two hits in 1 2/3 innings.

Ohtani’s big hit came a day after he played left field in his first appearance at a position other than designated hitter or pitcher in his MLB career.

“I tell you one thing, I know he’s not shying away from anything,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He’s attacking everything on his plate. … I love what he’s doing and how he’s doing it.”

Anthony Bemboom added an insurance run with an RBI single in the ninth.

The Angels ended their losing streak and avoided a four-game sweep without star Mike Trout. He missed a third consecutive game with a bruised left elbow after being hit by a pitch on Thursday night but said he expects to return on Monday. “Despite being banged up a little bit … we’ll get it right,” Maddon said. “We’ve got to get the right guys back out on the field.”

Justin Upton with two outs in the first when he hit Albert Pujols with a pitch to start the fifth inning. José Iglesias singled with one out in the inning before a walk by Jose Rojas loaded the bases.

David Fletcher made it 2-0 with his infield single on a hard-hit groundball that bounced off first base, into the air, and out of reach of the first baseman Gurriel.

The Astros had managed just two hits when Dylan Bundy plunked Yordan Alvarez with no outs in the seventh. Gurriel chased him when he connected on the homer to left-center that tied it at 2-2. It was the second time in this series that Gurriel tied a game with a two-run homer in the seventh after he did it in Friday’s 5-4 win in 10 innings. Bundy allowed three hits and two runs with six strikeouts in six innings and remains winless in five starts this season.

After scoring a season-high on Saturday in a 16-2 rout, the Astros couldn’t get anything against Bundy early on Sunday, and they didn’t have more than one man on base in an inning until the sixth.

“He was mixing up all his pitches,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He had excellent control of his slider and his change-up. He was throwing his game, keeping us off-balanced, and got a little help from the umpire on a couple of called third strikes.” In his return, McCullers allowed three hits and two runs with five strikeouts in six innings after being sidelined for ten days dealing with side effects from the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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