Ohtani, backed by Ward’s slam, leads Angels past Tigers 7-5

Jun 17, 2021, 9:52 AM | Updated: 11:21 pm

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani hadn’t pitched in front of a full, rowdy crowd at Angel Stadium since he was a major league rookie three years ago, and he had missed the feeling.

With 30,709 fans cheering them on, Ohtani and the Angels rode that wave of energy to yet another win.

Ohtani yielded five hits and a run over six strong innings, and Taylor Ward hit his first career grand slam in Los Angeles’ 7-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday night.

Ohtani (3-1) also drew two walks at the plate for the Angels, who celebrated the Big A’s return to full capacity with their 15th win in 23 games. The Halos have improved markedly over the past month even without Mike Trout, and Ohtani’s two-way performances are leading the way.

“Definitely felt good pitching in front of a lot of people,” Ohtani said through his translator. “Definitely better than no fans. It gives me energy, gives me confidence. Only good things come out of the fans being there.”

Luis Rengifo and David Fletcher drove in early runs for Los Angeles, and Ward highlighted a five-run seventh by drilling a 418-foot shot to center field for his seventh homer of the season. The Angels stumbled home after a three-game sweep in Oakland interrupted their momentum this week, but Ohtani already sees it returning.

“If we can play the ball we were playing during the winning streak, we can do a lot of good things, so today was a good start,” he said.

Ohtani was on again in his 10th mound start of the season, which matches his total during his AL Rookie of the Year campaign. The Japanese star struck out five and issued just one walk to the Tigers, who didn’t get a runner to third base until Schoop hit his 12th homer in the sixth.

“I thought Shohei illustrated all of his talents today,” said Angels manager Joe Maddon, who pulled his starter after 78 pitches. “He shows you a pretty complete game of baseball. … I thought that was a pretty significant day’s work for him. It’s still June, and I want this guy to have one of the greatest seasons ever, so I don’t want to jeopardize his overall health.”

Matt Manning (0-1) allowed four hits and two runs over five innings in the touted right-hander’s solid major league debut for Detroit.

Jonathan Schoop homered off Ohtani in the sixth for the Tigers, whose three-game winning streak ended after they rallied too late against the Angels’ struggling bullpen.

Detroit manager AJ Hinch praised Manning’s effort.

“He walked Ohtani, but I think we should walk Ohtani a lot, to be honest,” Hinch said. “With two runs (allowed while pitching) against Ohtani, it’s going to be tough. But the work we did against Ohtani, we got him out maybe an inning earlier than they would have wanted, and then we got to work against their bullpen.”

Los Angeles had a 7-1 lead heading into the eighth, but reliever Mike Mayers allowed four straight Tigers to reach base and didn’t get an out while giving up three runs.

Raisel Iglesias got the final six outs for his 12th save, but he gave up two run-scoring hits in the eighth and allowed another run on a wild pitch in the ninth.

MANNING’S MOMENT

The 23-year-old Manning was the ninth overall pick in the 2016 draft out of high school in Sacramento, and the son of a former NBA player became one of MLB’s top pitching prospects.

His development stalled last season due to the coronavirus pandemic and a forearm strain, and Manning hadn’t been particularly impressive at Triple-A Toledo this season with an 8.07 ERA and 11 homers allowed in his seven starts. With a rash of pitching injuries and a desire to see what Manning can do at the highest level, the Tigers promoted him anyway.

“I was able to put away some of the emotions part of it and not make it bigger than it was,” Manning said. “I just felt comfortable, and as the game went on, it kept building.”

Manning was largely sharp against the Angels, issuing two walks — both to Ohtani — and striking out three. He allowed two runs in the second largely thanks to his teammates’ poor defense.

Manning finished strong in front of dozens of friends and family members — “too many to count,” he said.

“I’m so happy I was able to debut in my home state,” he added.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: LHP Matthew Boyd, who left his last start with an arm injury, will meet with Dr. Neal ElAttrache while Detroit is on the West Coast, Hinch said.

Angels: 3B Anthony Rendon (triceps) was out of the lineup for the third consecutive game, clearing the way for Rengifo to get a start.

UP NEXT

After struggling last week in Arizona, Alex Cobb (4-2, 4.98 ERA) looks to get back to his strong recent run of form when he takes the mound for the Angels against José Ureña (2-6, 5.16 ERA), who is 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in his first two starts in June.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Big 3rd quarter carries No. 14 Maryland women by Pitt 87-63

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Abby Meyers scored 12 of her 23 points in Maryland’s 36-point third quarter and the No. 14 Terrapins rolled to an 87-63 win over Pittsburgh on Sunday to finish the Ft. Myers Tip-Off. Brinae Alexander hit three 3-pointers in the Terps’ biggest quarter of the season and was 5 of […]
1 day ago
TCU quarterback Max Duggan reacts to throwing touchdown pass during the second half of an NCAA coll...
Associated Press

AP Top 25: Michigan up to No. 2 behind top-ranked Georgia

Michigan moved up to No. 2 in The Associated Press college football poll Sunday, with TCU at No. 3 and Southern California at No. 4 behind top-ranked Georgia after four top-10 teams lost on the final day of regular-season games. The Bulldogs (12-0) are No. 1 for the eighth straight week and 11th time this […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Memphis uses 15-0 run, defense to turn back Stanford 56-48

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — Alex Lomax scored seven of his 12 points in a game-changing surge and Memphis used its defense to stymie Stanford 56-48 in the fifth-place game of the ESPN Events Invitational on Sunday. Maxime Raynaud and Harrison Ingram hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put Stanford up 14-9 midway through the first half. After […]
1 day ago
South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston (4) shoots against Hampton during the second quarter of an NCA...
Associated Press

South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston in walking boot after fall

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston was sidelined with a walking boot on her right foot after a hard fall duing the No. 1 Gamecocks’ game Sunday against Hampton. The Most Outstanding Player of last spring’s NCAA Tournament was driving for the basket when she fell and took several moments to get […]
1 day ago
Police cars drive along a main boulevard in Brussels, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, as violence broke out ...
Associated Press

Brussels sees riots after Morocco beats Belgium at World Cup

BRUSSELS (AP) — Police had to seal off parts of the center of Brussels, deploy water cannons and fire tear gas to disperse crowds following violence during and after Morocco’s 2-0 upset win over Belgium at the World Cup. Dozens of rioters overturned and torched a car, set electric scooters on fire and pelted cars […]
1 day ago
Croatia's Andrej Kramaric celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the World Cup gro...
Associated Press

Croatia downs Canada 4-1 at World Cup on Kramaric’s 2 goals

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Croatia bounced back strong and knocked Canada right out of its first World Cup in 36 years. The 2018 runners-up got two goals from Andrej Kramaric on Sunday in a 4-1 victory over a Canadian team that has been eliminated after two matches in Qatar. Alphonso Davies scored Canada’s first-ever […]
1 day ago
Ohtani, backed by Ward’s slam, leads Angels past Tigers 7-5