ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - Shohei Ohtani doubled twice Saturday for his first multi-hit game in nearly two weeks, but the Los Angeles Angels suffered their third straight loss with a 7-0 defeat against the Houston Astros.
The 24-year-old two-way star created a chance for the Angels to tie the score in the fourth inning when the Astros had a two-run lead. With a runner on first base, Ohtani doubled off Justin Verlander (10-5). But the right-hander struck out the next two batters he faced to close the inning without any damage.
Ohtani led off the ninth with a double and advanced to third base on Jose Briceno’s single. The Japanese was unable to come home after the next batter struck out and another popped out.
Verlander struck out 11 of the 24 batters he faced over six innings. He limited the Angels to five hits and two walks en route to his first win since June 14. When he faced Ohtani for the first time on May 16, Verlander recorded his 2,500th career strikeout to end Ohtani’s at-bat.
“Whether there’s a runner on base or not, (Verlander) throws hard and locates really well. That’s what makes him a top-class pitcher,” Ohtani said. “But I had some good swings against him today.”
Ohtani boosted his average to .283 and has five extra-base hits in 13 games since returning from the disabled list.
“He’s got a really quick bat, and we saw that today on some good pitches inside,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. “He’s got a lot of strength in his bat, and he’s a tough out when he gets into good counts. Looks like he’s got the pull extra-base hit down pat. We have our hands full when he’s up to bat.”
Just about everything clicked for the defending World Series champions in their fourth win in five games, which extends the second-best start in franchise history to 66-35. Houston earned its 10th shutout victory of the season, matching Boston for the AL lead.
Four batters after Josh Reddick homered to lead off the sixth, George Springer delivered his fifth career grand slam on a full count against reliever Noe Ramirez. Springer had driven in only five runs in his previous 24 games.
“That’s obviously big for our momentum,” said Springer, who hit his homer with the same bat he used to get a hit at the All-Star Game in Washington. “You could feel the wind come out of the stadium.”
Verlander yielded five hits while getting ample support in his third win over Los Angeles already this season. He has thrown 23 consecutive scoreless innings over his last three starts at Angel Stadium, including a five-hit shutout on May 16.
“I like the aesthetic of pitching here,” Verlander said.
Yankees 7, Mets 6
In New York, Chasen Shreve took over for Aroldis Chapman with the bases loaded and a two run lead in the ninth and got Devin Mesoraco to hit into a run-scoring, double-play grounder and retired Wilmer Flores on a slow roller in front of the mound.
With his second big league save and first since August 2016, Shreve preserved a Subway Series victory Saturday that enabled Sonny Gray (7-7) to win consecutive starts for the first time since the Yankees acquired him last summer.
Athletics 4, Giants 3
In Oakland, Jonathan Lucroy singled home Matt Chapman with two outs in the 11th inning to give the A’s a victory over San Francisco in front of the largest crowd to watch a baseball game at the Coliseum.
The game between Bay Area foes drew 56,310 fans — the biggest crowd in the majors this season — as the Athletics celebrated their 1989 World Series championship with a pregame reunion that included former stars such as Rickey Henderson, Dennis Eckersley and Jose Canseco.
Tigers 5, Red Sox 0
In Detroit, Jose Iglesias homered and drove in four runs, and Mike Fiers pitched impressively into the seventh inning to lead.
Brewers 4, Dodgers 2
In Milwaukee, Christian Yelich hit a tying homer off Clayton Kershaw in a three-run sixth inning, and the Brewers snapped a seven-game losing streak with a win over Los Angeles.
Marlins 3, Rays 2
In Miami, Rookie Pablo Lopez gave up three hits in six innings, Cameron Maybin homered and Miami beat Tampa Bay.
Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 5
In Phoenix, Tom Murphy’s two-out, pinch-hit solo home run in the eighth inning lifted Colorado over the Diamondbacks
The Rockies overcame an early three-run deficit to rally for their seventh straight victory, their longest streak of the season.
Blue Jays 4, Orioles 1
Indians 16, Rangers 3
White Sox 5, Mariners 0
Royals 4, Twins 2
Cubs 7, Cardinals 2 (1st)
Cardinals 6, Cubs 3 (2nd)
Pirates 6, Reds 2
Braves at Nationals — ppd.
Padres at Phillies — ppd.