Angels mount furious ninth-inning rally to beat Yankees 11-8, overcome Shohei Ohtani’s poor pitching start
NEW YORK — First, there was disaster.
Then, almost six hours later, sudden elation.
After Shohei Ohtani failed to escape a seven-run first inning, after the game was twice delayed by rain for more than two total hours, after they trailed by as many as five runs and sent eight different pitchers to the mound — the Angels beat the New York Yankees 11-8 in a game that began on Wednesday night and finished in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Jared Walsh delivered the game-saving blast, a ninth-inning grand slam off hard-throwing left-handed Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman to level the score at 8-8.
Luis Rengifo hammered the go-ahead hit, a two-run single off reliever Lucas Luetge later in the ninth to give the Angels their first lead since the top of the first inning.
And it all bailed out Ohtani, who was charged with seven runs after getting only two outs in a calamitous 41-pitch outing.
“It feels good when you get a win like that,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “Everybody had part ownership.”
Early on, it seemed like Ohtani’s exit from the game would be the night’s defining moment, the two-way star tilting his head, flipping the ball in the air, and waiting for the inevitable as Maddon walked to the mound to take him out.
Highlights from the Angels’ 11-8 comeback win over the New York Yankees on Wednesday.
So many times this year, the right-hander had escaped trouble, tip-toed around danger, and avoided any false steps in his majestic start to the season.
But on Wednesday, that magic ran out in front of a crowd of 30,713 in the Bronx.
After Ohtani flied out in the top of the first as the Angels’ leadoff hitter — the ninth time this season he played both ways — his command on the mound in the bottom of the inning was missing from the start.
He walked the first three Yankees to load the bases, failing to locate his fastball or get hitters to chase an assortment of sliders.
He gave up back-to-back RBI singles to Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres, leading to two runs and keeping the bases juiced.
He fanned Rougned Odor with a splitter and induced a run-scoring groundout from Miguel Andujar for the second out of the inning.
But after that, he lost control again, plunking Clint Frazier to load the bases once more before walking Brett Gardner on four-straight pitches, making it 4-0 on his 41st pitch.
“My body felt great, I had good arm action,” Ohtani said through his interpreter: “But I was yanking the balls, didn’t have a chance to get out of the inning, and I wasn’t able to get used to the mound.”
After Ohtani returned to the dugout, reliever Aaron Slegers promptly gave up a three-run double to DJ LeMahieu — all of them charged to Ohtani.
It was the most runs Ohtani has surrendered in a start in his MLB career, and raised his ERA this season from 2.58 to 3.60.
“Just control issues,” Maddon said. “Once he hit 40 [pitches], I did not want him to go any further.”
It seemingly left the Angels, who had gone ahead in the top of the first on Phil Gosselin’s two-run homer, with no route back.
With Ohtani out, the team had to work around his vacated spot at the top of the batting order, exhausting all three bench players by the end of the night.
A parade of pitchers came out of the bullpen, with Alex Claudio, Tony Watson and Steve Cishek all tossing at least one scoreless inning, and Dylan Bundy — pitching two days after getting sick on the field in the series opener — spinning two hitless frames.
Still, despite a Juan Lagares RBI double in the second and a Walsh solo home run in the fifth, the Angels trailed 7-4 when the game reached it’s second rain delay before the bottom of the fifth — deep enough into the contest for it to be called off and be an official result.
Maddon said the umpires came “close” to doing that, “but you looked at the map and you saw [the weather] was going to do exactly what it did, that it was going to stop.”
Indeed, the storm eventually passed and play resumed at 11:30 p.m. local time.
“It’s pretty tough [to stay locked in],” Walsh said, adding that players played cards or watched the Suns-Clippers playoff game during the delays. “But they actually weren’t too long … We had a little break, but it wasn’t so long where you got lulled to sleep.”
It took a while for the Angels to finally wake up, failing to generate a single baserunner between the sixth and eighth innings while Gardner hit a solo home run off Mike Mayers to make it a four-run game going into the ninth
But then, as the clock neared 1 a.m., the Angels’ late-game rally quickly snowballed, beginning with three-straight walks from Chapman before Walsh unloaded on a slider over the plate.
“Euphoria,” Walsh said when asked what he felt as the ball sailed over the wall in right-center. “That’s the only way I can describe it.”
And the Angels weren’t done either.
Shohei Ohtani has become one of baseball’s best players and a favorite to win the American League MVP award. Here are five reasons why.
Luetge entered the game but immediately walked Gosselin and gave up a single to David Fletcher, extending his hitting streak to 15 games.
After José Iglesias struck out for the second out, Rengifo pinch-hit in the pitcher’s spot, battled back from an 0-2 hole, and lined a two-run single into left.
Taylor Ward tacked on an RBI double in the next at-bat and closer Raisel Iglesias retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth, completing what Maddon described the “craziest, bestest result” of his two-year Angels tenure.
Echoed Ohtani: “The postgame high fives were the loudest and most exciting of the year by far. Obviously, personally, I didn’t have the results I wanted, but my teammates picked me up.”
Hours after walking off the mound with a blank, dejected stare, Ohtani could almost smile during his postgame video conference as he said it. Disaster had been averted. An early-morning celebration could commence.
Shohei Ohtani to bat leadoff against Yankees
NEW YORK — For the first time this season, Shohei Ohtani will bat leadoff and pitch in the same game when the Angels take on the Yankees on Wednesday night.
It will also be Ohtani’s ninth game this season playing both ways, and only the fourth time in MLB history a starting pitcher has batting first in his team’s lineup.
In a series of other sweeping changes made by manager Joe Maddon, Anthony Rendon will bat second for the first time this year, Jared Walsh will bat third for only the fourth time, Phil Gosselin will bat cleanup for the third time and David Fletcher will bat fifth for the first time.
Here’s the Angels full lineup:
In other roster news Wednesday: The Angels said Mike Trout on Tuesday took 50 swings off a tee, threw from up to 90 feet and did some jogging on an anti-gravity treadmill. Trout is on the 60-day injured list and has been out since May 17 with a Grade 2 strain of his right calf ... The Angels made a roster move in their bullpen, recalling Aaron Slegers and optioning James Hoyt.
MLB also announced the rosters for the 2021 Future’s Game on July 11 at Coors Field in Denver. Angels pitchers Reid Detmers and Hector Yan will represent the Angels on the American League team.
Shohei Ohtani to play both ways in start against Yankees on Wednesday
NEW YORK — A night after taking the MLB home run lead by whacking his 27th and 28th long balls of the year, Shohei Ohtani is set to play both ways when the Angels take on the Yankees on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
While forecasts of hot and humid weather gave Angels manager Joe Maddon some concern about letting his two-way star hit for himself Wednesday, Maddon confirmed on Tuesday night that Ohtani would do both roles for the ninth time this season.
Ohtani enters the game with an MLB-leading 28 home runs as a hitter, in addition to a .278 batting average and 1.049 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, and 2.58 ERA as a pitcher with 82 strikeouts in 59 1/3 innings. In the last two weeks, he has 10 home runs in 13 games and has made two pitching starts, giving up only one run in six innings both times.
Shohei Ohtani’s two home runs not enough as Angels lose to Yankees, continue to suffer from inconsistency
NEW YORK — The best and worst of the Angels were on display Tuesday night.
Shohei Ohtani hit two home runs, his sensational season lifting to more stratospheric heights as he took sole possession of the MLB home run lead with his 27th and 28th long balls of this season.
Anthony Rendon had two hits and a walk, his first multihit game in almost three weeks. David Fletcher extended his hitting streak to 14 games. And José Iglesias had three hits, including a home run.
And yet … it wasn’t enough.
Instead, in an 11-5 loss to the New York Yankees, the Angels had statistically one of their worst pitching performances of the season, yielding three home runs and a season-high nine walks on a night starter Andrew Heaney gave up seven runs in three-plus innings and the bullpen had troubles of its own. It was a script Angels fans have seen many times before, a familiar dichotomy in which a majestic individual performance was overshadowed by mediocrity elsewhere on the roster.
“Everything’s improved,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said, noting that his team has played better of late, reflected by their 14-11 record in June, despite a 38-41 overall mark that leaves them 8½ games back in the American League wild-card race. “But we need to get on some kind of a more consistent roll.”
Ohtani provided the type of outburst Tuesday that should have helped spark such a run.
After flying out his first time up against Yankees starter Jameson Taillon, Ohtani returned to the plate in the third inning, got ahead 3-and-0 in the count, laid off a fastball down the middle, then smoked a changeup left over the outside corner.
The ball left Ohtani’s bat at 109.6 mph. It traveled 395 feet into the right-field bleachers. His 27th home run of the year, it moved him past Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on the major league home run list too.
Two innings later, Ohtani went deep again, battling back from an 0-and-2 hole before scorching an elevated fastball 112.4 mph just over the wall in right field, bashing a two-run shot with a lightning-quick swing.
Ohtani came close to having his first career three-home-run game in the seventh, when he flew out to the warning track in center field. Still, he finished the night with a .278 batting average, an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of 1.049, and a franchise-record-tying 13 home runs in the month of June.
In the last two weeks, Ohtani has 10 home runs and 16 RBIs in 13 games. He’s also made two six-inning, one-run starts on the mound.
What has Maddon enjoyed most about the stretch from his two-way star, who will again play both ways when he makes his 12th pitching start of the season Wednesday?
“How much he’s enjoying it,” Maddon said. “He’s a joy for this. He’s what baseball needs, both as a player and as an example.”
The Angels, however, will need more than just him to climb back into the playoff picture.
Next month’s expected return of Mike Trout — whose own spectacular play in recent seasons hasn’t been enough to lift the Angels into contention — will be a boost. Rendon has been showing signs of promise lately as well, doubling on Tuesday for his fourth extra-base hit in the past five games.
But overall, the team’s inconsistency on the mound is still holding them back, Heaney becoming the latest example Tuesday as he struggled to locate his fastball or get Yankees hitters to chase outside the zone.
“They had a good approach,” said Heaney, who gave up one run in the first, four in the second and two more in the fourth. “I just didn’t do a good job of neutralizing what they were trying to do.”
Highlights from the Angels’ 11-5 loss to the New York Yankees on Tuesday.
Heaney’s ERA is now 5.40, one of seven qualified Angels pitchers with an ERA of 4.95 or higher. As a team, the Angels’ 5.00 ERA is third-worst in the majors.
And it all came into sharp focus Tuesday, when Ohtani’s first home run only managed to get the Angels back within three and his second cut a seven-run deficit down to just five — the closest the team would get the rest of the night.
“We’re really close to being really good,” Maddon said, adding: “I love the attitude. And for those that don’t understand that, it’s really important that you have a group that really believes in each other and trusts one another. That’s what we have right now.”
But to this point it still hasn’t been enough, Tuesday becoming the latest reminder that it will take more than a historic season from one of their star players to finally get over the hump.
Yankees win 11-5, but Shohei Ohtani takes MLB home run lead
NEW YORK — Live updates as the Angels try to win their second in a row against the Yankees...
Bottom 1st — Gary Sanchez homers, Yankees lead 1-0: After the Angels stranded a two-out double from Anthony Rendon in the top of the first, Gary Sanchez put the Yankees on the board first with a solo home run off Andrew Heaney, driving a changeup off the plate the other way to right.
Top 2nd — José Iglesias homers, Angels lead 2-1: José Iglesias answered for the Angels, lining a two-run home run into the left-field bullpen. It’s Iglesias’ sixth home run of the year, and improves his career batting average at Yankee Stadium to .329 — the highest in his career among any venue he’s played at least 20 games in.
Bottom 2nd — Yankees explode for four runs, take 5-2 lead: Andrew Heaney didn’t bother turning around. He knew where the ball was headed.
After giving up one run in the second inning on a sacrifice fly and another on a DJ LeMahieu RBI single, Heaney served up a fastball over the inner half of the plate that Aaron Judge clobbered to center field for a two-run homer, giving the Yankees a 5-2 lead.
It’s the second straight start Andrew Heaney has allowed five runs in the first two innings.
Top 3rd — Shohei Ohtani takes MLB home run lead, Yankees lead 5-3: Shohei Ohtani has taken the major-league lead in home runs, lining his 27th of the season to right field with one out in the third.
It’s Ohtani’s third-straight game with a home run and moves him past Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on the MLB leaderboard. In his last 13 games at the plate, Ohtani has 10 home runs and 16 RBIs.
Bottom 4th — Andrew Heaney exits as Yankees lead 10-3: Andrew Heaney’s night came to an end before he could even get an out in the fourth. After giving up a leadoff home run to Miguel Andujar and walking Brett Garnder, Heaney was removed in favor of reliever James Hoyt.
Hoyt had his own issues, letting four more runs score with two outs (one of them was charged to Heaney) to make it a seven-run game.
Top 5th — Shohei Ohtani homers again, Yankees lead 10-5: Shohei Ohtani came up empty in his first two swings of a fifth-inning at-bat. But then, when Yankees starter James Taillon tried sneaking an elevated fastball over the inside half of the plate, Ohtani crushed it over the right-field fence for a two-run homer, his second of the night and 28th of the season.
Final — Yankees win 11-5: The Yankees added an insurance run in the sixth and even the four-game series at one win apiece. The loss dropped the Angels to 38-41 on the season.
Dylan Bundy feeling fine a day after throwing up on the field
But he never would have guessed what was about to happen next.
Suffering from what the Angels later said was heat exhaustion, the right-handed pitcher threw up behind the mound at Yankee Stadium several times, hunching over on a hot and humid New York evening before quickly leaving the game.
A day later, Bundy said he felt back to normal, answering questions with a good-natured grin in the visiting dugout before the Angels’ game Tuesday night.
“Right now I feel fine,” Bundy said. “I honestly don’t even know what it was, besides a stomach bug or something mixed with the heat.”
Bundy said he went through his pregame routine Monday night without issue, but began to feel bad after the first few batters of the game. Still, when he returned to the mound for the second, “I just didn’t think I would throw up,” Bundy said. “Throwing up on a field never crossed my mind.”
However, with two outs in the inning and sweat visibly dripping off the end of the bill of Bundy’s cap, the 28-year-old stepped off the rubber, put his hands on his knees and vomited.
A stunned gasp came from the 25,054-person crowd. Yankees hitter DJ LeMahieu stepped out of the batter’s box and turned away, walking back toward the on-deck circle. Nearby, Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant stared on in disbelief from his front row seat.
Angels manager Joe Maddon and several trainers quickly ran out to help Bundy, handing him a towel before walking him off the field.
“I’ve never done anything like that before,” Bundy said. “Not my proudest moment. But hey, it happens.”
Bundy said would have tried staying in the game, “but I didn’t think I was going to quit throwing up, so I figured I better just get off the field.”
After entering this season with a 7.99 ERA, Angels pitcher José Suarez has a 1.98 ERA this year in a bullpen role that may not last much longer.
After returning to the clubhouse, Bundy said he “tried to get a few more particles up.” After that, he quickly began to feel better, changing out of his sweat-drenched uniform and getting slowly rehydrated.
“I kind of wished I had just stayed out there and finished throwing up,” Bundy said. “Then I could have pitched, at least gotten another out.”
Unsurprisingly, he had a mountain of phone messages after the game too, all checking to see if he was all right.
“Told them I was fine,” Bundy said. “It was just something that happened.”
Angels observations: Shohei Ohtani ties MLB home run lead, José Suarez provides stellar relief in 5-3 win over Yankees
NEW YORK -- This time, angry boos and empty at-bats were replaced by astonished gasps and a thunderous swing, Shohei Ohtani quickly marking his second career visit to Yankee Stadium with a signature blast to open the game.
Ohtani homered in his first at-bat Monday, setting the tone in the Angels’ 5-3 win with a 413 foot home run into the right field bleachers.
It was Ohtani’s 26th home run of the season, tying Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for most in the majors, and his first career hit at Yankee Stadium after he went 0-for-9 in New York in his only previous visit to the Bronx, a three-game series in his 2018 rookie season in which he was booed by Yankees fans who were upset he picked the Angels as his MLB club.
“That definitely sent a message,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “It was the right way to start a trip to New York, with him hitting a home run.”
Ohtani didn’t have another hit on Monday night, but the Angels prevailed anyway, manufacturing four more runs while getting 7 ⅓ strong innings from the bullpen -- led by left-hander José Suarez — after Dylan Bundy got sick in the second inning with heat exhaustion.
Here are three observations from Monday.
Bundy gets sick; Suarez sharp in relief
Bundy left Monday’s game with two outs in the second inning, throwing up behind the mound on a hot and muggy New York evening.
Just as he was preparing to throw a pitch to DJ LeMahieu, a profusely sweating Bundy stepped off the back of the rubber and began vomiting on the infield grass, his hands on his knees as trainers rushed out to check on him.
Game-time temperature in the Bronx was 90 degrees and humidity was over 50%.
Bundy walked off the field with trainers, holding a towel to his face, but Maddon said the pitcher was feeling better after the game.
“Getting out there and seeing all that, it was kind of tough to watch,” Maddon said. “To be in front of everybody like that and deal with it the way he did, he’s a pro.”
Left-hander José Suarez was stellar in relief of Bundy, needing just 56 pitches in a 5-⅓ inning outing. He gave up just one run, on a sixth-inning solo home run by Giancarlo Stanton, and only let two other Yankees reach base while striking out five.
Suarez’s ERA is now 1.98 in 27-⅓ innings this season, and Monday was his fourth relief outing of at least three innings and no more than one run. The Angels have won all four of those games.
Asked if the 23-year-old could be considered for a rotation role following Monday’s performance, Maddon said, “We have to discuss that. He is absolutely looking like a major league starting pitcher.”
Angels pull away
After Ohtani’s first inning home run — which, with an exit velocity of 117.2 mph, was the hardest-hit homer by an Angels player since Statcast began tracking in 2015 — the rest of the Angels’ lineup took over.
Anthony Rendon drew a walk in the next at-bat and scored on Jared Walsh’s double into left-center field, making it 2-0.
Then, with the score tied at 2-2 in the fifth, the Angels went back in front after Rendon doubled and later scored with the help of a couple misplays by LeMahieu at second base.
In the sixth, Juan Lagares made it a two-run game with a solo home run to right.
And after the Yankees got back within one on Stanton’s homer, José Iglesias drove in an insurance tally in the eighth with an RBI double to right that was again aided by a poor relay throw from LeMahieu.
Fletcher extends hitting streak
Back in the leadoff spot for a second-straight, David Fletcher also extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a double in the sixth, hustling to second after dumping a soft line drive into shallow left field.
Prior to the streak, Fletcher was only batting .255 this season. But in the last 13 games, he is 22-for-48 (.458) with six doubles, seven RBIs and two walks with only three strikeouts.
The past two games have been his first back in the leadoff spot since May 14, and prior to Monday’s game Maddon said it is something that could continue with Justin Upton on the injured list.
“Fletch has been hot,” Maddon said. “It just seemed like the right thing to do. We could have left Ohtani up at the top. [But] David has been doing a nice job of feeding him from the nine hole, so [I thought] maybe it would be wise to give David another at-bat ... When J-Up comes back, we’ll reevaluate again.”
Mike Trout moved to 60-day IL, but is more than 50% healed
NEW YORK — The Angels transferred injured center fielder Mike Trout to the 60-day injured list on Monday, meaning the three-time MVP officially won’t return from his Grade 2 right calf strain until after next month’s All-Star break from July 12-15.
However, Angels manager Joe Maddon said Trout is progressing well and on Monday took his first swings in the batting cage since suffering his injury while running the bases in a game on May 17. Maddon still didn’t know exactly when Trout will be able to return, but said he is more than 50% healed from the injury.
“He did some nice baseball activity,” Maddon said. “He’s moving in the right direction.”
The Angels moved Trout from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL in order to create an opening on the 40-man roster for outfielder Scott Schebler, who had his contract selected Monday and will start in left field for the Angels as they open a four-game series against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Players on the 60-day IL don’t count against a team’s 40-man roster.
In a corresponding move, the Angels optioned infielder Kean Wong — one of several infielders who had been filling in at corner outfield spots as the Angels have battled a string of injuries recently.
“He’s a real outfielder,” Maddon said of Schebler, who hit .148 with three doubles in 11 games with the Angels this season. “I think Schebler permits us to move everybody around again in the outfield, and give us a guy who has played out there on a regular basis.”
As for Trout, Maddon said the team hadn’t finalized a potential rehab assignment for him to complete before returning to the big leagues, but reiterated that he is progressing well.
“I don’t know all the answers to those questions, except that he is doing well, he is making progress,” Maddon said.
Trout was batting .333 with eight home runs, 18 RBIs and an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of 1.090 before getting hurt.
In other roster news Monday: Maddon said outfielder Justin Upton (right low back strain) should be able to come off the injured list when eligible this weekend.
Here’s the Angels lineup for Monday night: