Shohei Ohtani hits home run No. 34, but Angels can’t stop Astros comeback
Alex Bregman and Trey Mancini hit two of Houston’s five home runs, and the American League West-leading Astros beat the Angels 12-4 on Sunday for their 90th win of the season.
Trailing 3-0, the Astros rallied for five runs in the third. Mauricio Dubon led off the inning with a solo home run, and after Tucker Davidson (2-6) hit Yordan Alvarez to load the bases, Davidson was replaced by Mike Mayers, whom Bregman greeted with a grand slam to right-center field.
It was Bregman’s fourth career grand slam and first since May 5, 2019, against the Angels.
“I think consistency of at-bats is extremely important,” Bregman said. “That’s something we want to have going down the stretch and going into the postseason. The guys in [the clubhouse] know how to put together really good after really good at-bat. I think when we do that, we’re a really good offense.”
L.A. Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, who tried to buy the Dodgers more than a decade ago, is mulling a bid to buy Angels from Arte Moreno.
Mike Trout, who has homered in a club-record six straight games, was given the day off for the Angels. Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly and Dale Long share the major league record of eight games in a row with a home run.
Shohei Ohtani hit his 34th home run of the season in the first inning, a two-run shot to right field, and Andrew Velazquez hit a solo homer in the second as the Angels built a 3-0 lead. Mickey Moniak had an RBI double in the ninth. The Angels (61-79) lost two of three in the series.
“I liked the at-bats to begin with,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. “We made some hard outs too. ... I thought our at-bats were OK. We have to do a better job throwing strikes. I think we were pretty close to throwing more balls than strikes today. Throw it in the zone or it’s not going to be a good day.”
Mancini hit a three-run homer to left field in the fifth. Alvarez hit a solo home run in the eighth for his 32nd of the season, and Kyle Tucker launched a two-run shot to right two batters later.
“It’s really fun, especially with an unideal start to the game,” Mancini said of the home run outburst. “Luis [Garcia] did such a good job of bouncing back and throwing four great innings after the first, and he kept us in the game. Luckily, our offense had a great day.”
Jose Altuve, who had three hits, scored on a wild pitch in the sixth.
Garcia (12-8) surrendered three runs and eight hits and struck out four in five innings. Garcia has given up at least three runs in seven straight starts.
The Astros, who have the best record in the AL at 90-50, reached 90 wins for the fifth time in the last six seasons.
“That’s the benchmark that I have for myself and the team every year,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said. “I always say if we can get 15 victories per month and add on from there, there’s a good chance that you’ll be somewhere in the playoff hunt. We’re there not even in the middle of September, so that’s a good sign for us as a model of consistency.”
Mike Trout homered in a team-record sixth straight game as the Angels won 6-1 at Houston, but pitcher Shohei Ohtani left his start early with a blister.
Davidson yielded four runs and five hits in two innings.
Injury update: David Fletcher was out of the lineup Sunday after he exited Saturday’s game because of a right hand contusion after being hit by a pitch in the first inning. Ohtani is expected to throw a bullpen session and not miss his next start after leaving Saturday’s start because of a blister on his right index finger, Nevin said.
Up next for Angels: Left-hander Reid Detmers (5-5, 3.57 ERA) starts Monday in Cleveland in the first of three games against the Guardians, who will send left-hander Konnor Pilkington (1-2, 3.99 ERA) to the mound.
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