Mike Trout sets homer streak mark as Angels win; Shohei Ohtani (blister) leaves early
Mike Trout homered in his sixth straight game to set a franchise record, Shohei Ohtani threw five solid innings before exiting because of a blister, and the Angels beat the Houston Astros 6-1 on Saturday night.
Trout hit his 34th homer, a three-run drive to left field in the second inning. The three-time American League most valuable player broke the club mark of five games in a row with a home run that he shared with Bobby Bonds, who achieved the feat in 1977.
“It’s pretty cool,” Trout said of the achievement. “I’ve just been preparing myself, trying to get my swing right and not missing pitches. I got some pitches to hit tonight and put a good swing on them.”
Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly and Dale Long share the major league record of eight games in a row with a home run.
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Ohtani (12-8) yielded one run and six hits and struck out seven until leaving with a blister on his right index finger. The right-hander has given up three runs or fewer in eight straight starts. He threw the fastest pitch of his career at 101.4 mph in the third inning, according to Statcast.
As Ohtani was warming up to start the sixth, he motioned to the dugout, and interim manager Phil Nevin and a trainer came out to check on him. After talking for several minutes, Ohtani walked off and was replaced by Jimmy Herget.
Ohtani remained in to hit to start the seventh, but Jo Adell batted for him in the ninth. Nevin said he did that because he didn’t want to risk anything with a five-run lead. The Angels will check on Ohtani on Sunday to see whether he can be the designated hitter in the series finale.
“I had a little rough first inning, things weren’t going our way, but I was able to fight through that,” Ohtani said through an interpreter. “Once we got through that inning, momentum was on our side.”
Ohtani said he felt fine and thought he got out of the game before the blister became more severe.
“It was more getting him out of there before it opens,” Nevin said. “He’s had them before. He manages his body as well as anybody, and if that thing rips open, it probably puts his next start in jeopardy, so he got out of there before it did that.”
Regarding Ohtani’s outing, Nevin said: “A lot of awesomeness again. That two-seamer is ridiculous. When you can throw it 100 miles per hour with that kind of movement, you can see the reactions from some of the hitters on their faces.”
The Angels jumped on Houston starter Jose Urquidy (13-6) for five runs in the first two innings. He surrendered a career-high-tying six runs and 10 hits in five innings. He struck out four.
“They hit some balls hard that were caught early, and then they had some soft-contact infield hits that started rallies and then the three-run homer by Trout,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said. “He’s the hottest man around. He’s hit homers in six straight games, and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that.”
Taylor Ward, who finished with three hits, had an RBI single in the first. Mike Ford added an RBI double in the fifth, and Andrew Velazquez had an RBI groundout as part of the four-run second.
Jose Altuve scored on a single by Yuli Gurriel and an error in the first. Gurriel had three hits.
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Angels catcher Kurt Suzuki was activated off the bereavement list. Catcher Chad Wallach was optioned to triple-A Salt Lake to make room for Suzuki.
Astros center fielder Chas McCormick robbed Ohtani of extra bases in the first inning with a running catch as he crashed into the wall. In the fourth, Angels left fielder Mickey Moniak robbed Jeremy Pena of a hit with a diving catch and then proceeded to double off Trey Mancini at first.
Trout denied Yordan Alvarez of extra bases to end the fifth, running back on a deep fly ball to center and reaching over his head to make the catch.
Angels: Second baseman David Fletcher exited because of a right hand contusion after being hit by a pitch in the first inning. X-rays were negative, and he was listed as day to day. ... Right-hander Archie Bradley (right elbow fracture) threw a bullpen session before the game ... Third baseman Anthony Rendon (right wrist) has returned to doing baseball activities, Nevin said.
Astros: Right-hander Justin Verlander (right calf) felt “good” after his bullpen session Friday, Baker said. ... Utility player Aledmys Diaz (groin) continued his rehabilitation assignment with triple-A Sugar Land. The “tentative” plan for him is to rejoin the Astros in Detroit on Tuesday, Baker said.
Left-hander Tucker Davidson (2-5, 6.42 ERA) starts Sunday for the Angels opposite Houston right-hander Luis Garcia (11-8, 3.99 ERA) in the series final.
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