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Shohei Ohtani, Taylor Ward extend hit streaks in Angels’ loss to Rangers

Angels' Shohei Ohtani connects for a single against the Texas Rangers.
Angels’ Shohei Ohtani connects for a single against the Texas Rangers during the seventh inning in Arlington, Texas on Wednesday.
(Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

Rookie Josh Smith homered over the fence for the first time, and the Texas Rangers beat the Angels 7-2 on Wednesday night.

Smith’s only other round-tripper was inside the park at Globe Life Field against Oakland in July when his liner skipped past the center fielder to the warning track. This 386-foot solo drive in the seventh inning tucked inside the foul pole in right.

“That one kinda feels like the first real one,” Smith said. “It’s been too long, but you don’t know how many you’re going to get so I’ll take it.”

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Shohei Ohtani and Taylor Ward extended their hitting streaks to seven games in the first when Ohtani singled and Ward followed with his 19th home run for a 2-0 Angels lead.

Ohtani and Ward were working on another rally to start the seventh when the two-way Japanese star reached on a routine grounder because reliever Brock Burke didn’t cover the bag. But Burke snagged Ward’s liner and doubled Ohtani off first.

Dane Dunning (4-8) struck out eight in five innings, allowing three hits and two runs. The right-hander stopped a five-start winless streak as the pair of AL West also-rans have split the first two in a three-game series.

Taylor Ward had a tiebreaking RBI double in the Angels’ three-run sixth inning, and they beat the Texas Rangers 5-2 despite hitting into a triple play.

Smith had another RBI on a fielder’s choice that scored the speedy Leody Taveras with the tying run in the second inning. Smith took second when shortstop Livan Soto’s throw home went to the backstop.

The 25-year-old Smith tied a franchise by reaching base in his first 11 games when he was called up in June. He went back to the minors last month before getting recalled. He stopped an 0-for-17 skid with a single in the ninth inning of the series opener.

“It’s been a weird year for me,” said Smith, who is hitting .205. “I haven’t really hit the way I’ve wanted to. I know I have it in there somewhere. Just trying to find the consistency of it.”

Adolis Garcia had a sacrifice fly in the first and tiebreaking RBI double in the third off Angels starter Tucker Davidson (2-7). Taveras added a two-run single in the eighth.

“I saw good things,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said of Davidson, who allowed three runs in five innings and dropped to 1-5 since being acquired from Atlanta in a trade. “I thought he threw the well and really the last two innings, coming out of those clean. Wanted to end him in a good note.”

Nevin said Ohtani wouldn’t be in the lineup Thursday before his scheduled return to the mound Friday night in Minnesota. Nevin said Mike Trout would get a break from center field as the designated hitter in the series finale against the Rangers, with Ohtani available off the bench.


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