Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash might have been wise to grab a page from Joe Maddon’s playbook and walk around Shei Ohtani intentionally with the bases loaded in the seventh inning on Monday night, just like the Angels manager did with Texas Rangers slugger Corey Seager on April 16.
Instead, Cash could only watch helplessly as Ohtani crushed a grand slam on the left center court to cap a five-run outburst that propelled the Angels to an 11-3 win over the Rays before 19,537 at Angel Stadium.
Ohtani’s 413-foot shot on a 3-and-1 cut fast by rescuer Calvin Faucher was the star’s first ever two-way grand slam – in Japan or in the major leagues. He also scored a solo shot to center left in the sixth inning, giving him eight multihomer games in his big league career and six homers this season.
The Rays had scored two points at the top of the seventh to lead to 6-3 from the Angels, but the Angels responded with a quick shot at the bottom of the seventh.
Chad Wallach, the native of Yorba Linda who was making his first ever start for the Angels, started with a single on the right, the No. Hitter 9 Andrew Velazquez walked and Brandon Marsh hit a single bad-hop inside.
Trout walked with forcibly loaded bases in a run, and Ohtani sent his 109.8 mph drive over the wall in the center left to open the match, helping the Angels (20-11) of the American League West to exceed nine .500 games for the first time since June 9, 2018.
The offensive eruption sustained another good start from Noah Syndergaard, who limited a club that had won 13 out of 18 games to one run and seven hits in 51/3 innings, scoring seven and walking one.
Syndergaard, as he has done in all five starts this season, actually mixed his 94mph fastball with his 89mph gearbox, 83mph slider, and a sleek 76mph turn with his fastball for improve to 3-1 with an ERA of 2.45 this season. Of the 97 shots of it, 31 were changes. He induced 15 swinging strikes and got 14 called strikes.
Syndergaard, who went five or more innings and gave up three runs or less on all five of his starts, escaped a second and third dead end jam in the second when he hit Randy Arozarena with 93 mph ballast, Brett Phillips with a 75 mph corner and convinced Mike Zunino to take the lead.
The Rays took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Syndergaard took too much of the pot with a 92 mph fastball at Arozarena, which lined him right-field seats for his first homer of the season.
But the Angels, with the help of a twilight sky, bounced back for three points at the bottom of the fourth against Rays southpaw Jeffrey Springs, who had retired the top 10 batters before Trout landed a single on the left.
Ohtani followed with a massive volley to shallow center, but Kevin Kiermaier, the three-time Gold Glove Award-winning center-back, didn’t see him off the racket and couldn’t find him in time to catch the ball. fall for a single.
Anthony Rendon lined up left for the second out, but southpaw Jared Walsh crushed a 427 fastball odds of 92 mph to hit a three-point homer, his fourth homer in six games, to a 3-1 lead. .
Walsh, who averaged .170 batting and .565 on a base plus a hit rate against lefties last season, hasn’t started in five of the team’s six games against lefties this season.
He’s beating .333 (eight for 24) with one homer and seven RBI against lefties this season.
“He never complained [about being benched against left-handers]Maddon said. “He’s the kind of guy who’s going to do something about it, and he did. Give him credit for being a fighter. “
The Angels took the lead to 6-1 in the sixth when Marsh scored a single, Trout lined up his homer by two points over the short block in the left field and Ohtani scored in the left center. Trout’s homer was his 161st at Angel Stadium, giving him the franchise record over Tim Salmon.
Griffin Canning, on the 60-day injury list due to a stress reaction in his lower back, launched a simulated two-innings, 30-pitch game on Monday.
He is well on his way to starting a minor league stint within two weeks and expects to be ready to return around June 6, when it can be activated. … Taylor Ward’s right hamstring stiffened as he ran the bases on Sunday and the right fielder didn’t play Monday night.