ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – Shohei Ohtani crushed leadoff homers in the fourth and eighth innings on Sunday, but it was not enough to rescue the Los Angeles Angels from a 12-3 drubbing against the Oakland Athletics.
The Japanese two-way star — restricted to designated hitting duties following Tommy John surgery last fall — launched his eighth and ninth home runs for the month of June in the series finale at Angel Stadium.
Oakland third baseman Matt Chapman went 3-for-5 with a career-high six RBIs to lead the offensive barrage for the visitors.
Down 2-0, Ohtani put the Halos on the board when he sent starter Chris Bassitt’s 2-2 curve ball over center field in the bottom of the fourth.
With the game out of reach at 12-2 in the eighth, Ohtani went long to center again, this time off a 2-0 fastball from Aaron Brooks.
The former Nippon Ham Fighters player, who underwent surgery on his throwing elbow last October, finished 2-for-4 after grounding out and striking out in his other two at-bats.
“From an individual perspective, it was a big game. But it was a heavy loss for the team,” the 24-year-old Ohtani said.
“We’ve had a run of losses, but we’re about to head out on the road and I’d like to get a win there. I hope we can work toward another winning streak.”
Sunday’s loss was the third straight for the Angels after taking the series opener against the visiting Athletics on Thursday.
Bassitt (5-3) got the win, while starter Andrew Heaney (1-2) took the loss for the Angels, who sit fourth in the American League West, four games behind third-place Oakland.
Though his team has struggled, Ohtani’s recent hitting has led to calls for him to be included in the Home Run Derby held before the MLB All-Star Game.
The idea received the backing of teammate and perennial All Star Mike Trout, who told Angels beat writer Fabian Ardaya that “(Ohtani) would probably win. He has the best power in the league.”
Despite the tough loss, Ohtani appeared in good spirits as he and Angels teammates set out dressed in cowboy gear for their four-game series against the Texas Rangers in Dallas starting Monday.
Dodgers 10, Rockies 5
In Denver, Joc Pederson had three hits and three RBIs, Matt Beaty doubled twice and drove in two, and Los Angeles rallied past Colorado to split their four-game series.
Kenta Maeda pitched into the fifth but didn’t figure in the decision. He had a hand in the Dodgers’ first two runs, though, singling and scoring in the third and laying down a sacrifice bunt that helped bring Kike Hernandez home in the fifth.
Dylan Floro (3-2) got two outs to pick up the win and Julio Urias helped keep the Rockies in check with three scoreless innings in relief.
Chad Bettis (1-4) was charged with six runs while getting one out.
Astros 6, Mariners 1
In Houston, rookie Yordan Alvarez drove in three to back up seven strong innings by Gerrit Cole and help Houston over Seattle to complete a three-game sweep.
Cole (8-5), who allowed just four singles after a solo homer to J.P. Crawford, struck out 10 and walked one to win his fourth straight decision. Cole leads the American League with 151 strikeouts this season.
Mariners starter Marco Gonzales (9-7) allowed six hits and three runs while walking three in five innings to snap a four-game winning streak in his first loss since June 2.
After consecutive one-run wins in the 10th inning, the Astros didn’t need any late dramatics in this one. They padded the lead with a three-run eighth inning highlighted by a two-RBI single by Jake Marisnick.
Yankees 12, Red Sox 8
In London, Gary Sanchez hit a go-ahead, two-run single during a nine-run seventh inning, and the New York overcame a four-run deficit to beat Boston for a two-game sweep of the groundbreaking, high-scoring trip across the pond.
DJ LeMahieu doubled off Marcus Walden (6-1) leading off the seventh and hit a two-run double against Josh Taylor later in the inning as the Yankees opened an 11-4 lead, sending 14 batters to the plate in their highest-scoring inning in four years.
Didi Gregorius went deep against Ryan Brasier in the eighth, extending New York’s record streak of games with home runs to 31. Combined with the Yankees’ 17-13 win Saturday, the teams scored 50 runs on the weekend, four more than their previous scoring mark in consecutive games against each other.
Adam Ottavino (3-2), the second of six New York relievers, got the win.
Before a sellout crowd of 59,059 at Olympic Stadium, Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez and Christian Vázquez became the first trio of Boston batters in four decades to hit home runs in the first inning.
Rays 6, Rangers 2
In St. Petersburg, Florida, Blake Snell struck out 12 over six innings for just his second win in 10 starts and Tampa Bay beat Texas.
Snell (5-7) gave up three hits during an 80-pitch outing. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner had an 11.94 ERA in five previous starts this month.
Tommy Pham homered for the Rays, who won consecutive games for the first time since June 9-10. The first AL wild card leaders went 13-16 in June.
After Kevin Kiermaier had an RBI single and Willy Adames added a run-scoring single off Jesse Chavez (3-3) the fourth, Pham’s fifth-inning solo shot made it 4-2.
White Sox 4, Twins 3
In Chicago, first-time All-Star Lucas Giolito (11-2) allowed one hit in five innings to earn his major league-leading 11th victory and Chicago beat Minnesota.
Yoán Moncada homered, and he and Jose Abreu had three hits apiece for the White Sox, who won two of three against the AL Central-leading Twins.
Nelson Cruz homered for the Twins, who had won eight of nine against Chicago.
Lewis Thorpe (0-1), a 23-year-old left-hander from Melbourne, Australia, made his major league debut for the Twins. He allowed two runs and five hits, struck out seven and walked two in five innings.
Nationals 2, Tigers 1
In Detroit, Max Scherzer struck out 14 against his former team and Anthony Rendon homered for the second straight game as Washington topped Detroit.
Scherzer (8-5) returned to Comerica Park for the first time since leaving as a free agent after the 2014 season and stuck out double-digit batters for the fourth straight outing.
Rendon’s blast came off Joe Jimenez (2-6), who allowed a home run and a walk to the only two batters he faced.
Detroit’s Jordan Zimmermann, who also was starting against his former team, struck out four batters in six innings, allowing one run.
Brewers 2, Pirates 1
In Milwaukee, Eric Thames homered leading off the eighth inning, and Milwaukee beat Pittsburgh.
Thames, who entered as a pinch-hitter in the sixth, blasted an 0-1 pitch from Pirates reliever Kyle Crick (3-4) to straightaway center, a 432-foot shot that hit just below the scoreboard.
Milwaukee took two of three from its NL Central rival and moved into a first-place tie with the Chicago Cubs, who lost to Cincinnati. The Brewers finished their homestand at 5-5.
Jeremy Jeffress (2-2) pitched a scoreless eighth, and Matt Albers worked the ninth to pick up his first save of the season.
Reds 8, Cubs 6
In Cincinnati, Eugenio Suarez ended his slump with Cincinnati’s longest homer of the season, Anthony DeSclafani (5-4) pitched six scoreless innings and the Reds held off Chicago.
Phillip Ervin and Nick Senzel drove in two runs each, and Raisel Iglesias escaped with a six-out save despite allowing Jason Heyward’s three-run homer in the ninth. Kyle Schwarber also had a late connection for the Cubs.
Chicago starter Jon Lester (7-6) hadn’t lost to the Reds since 2016, a streak of seven straight starts. The Cubs have dropped 3 of 4 and finished June 14-15, their first losing month since May 2017.
Yasiel Puig stole two bases a day after a shouting match with Chicago reliever Pedro Strop — Puig was upset after being hit by a 3-0 pitch.
Indians 2, Orioles 0
In Baltimore, Shane Bieber allowed three hits and struck out 11 over eight dazzling innings, Carlos Santana drove in two and Cleveland edged Baltimore to avert a three-game sweep.
Coming off successive 13-0 losses to the team with the worst record in the majors, the Indians turned it around behind Bieber (7-3). The left-hander did not issue a walk, retired 12 straight at one point and permitted only one runner past first base.
Brad Hand gave up two singles and a two-out walk to load the bases in the ninth before striking out Anthony Santander for his 23rd save. He was named an All-Star after the game.
Orioles starter Gabriel Ynoa (0-6) gave up one run and six hits over 5⅓ innings. Three of those hits came in the third, when the Mercado-Santana combination clicked to end the Indians’ run of scoreless innings at 20.
Cardinals 5, Padres 3 (11)
In San Diego, Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer with two outs in the 11th inning, and St. Louis overcame a three-run deficit to beat San Diego and snap a five-game losing streak.
Wieters’ shot off Brad Wieck (0-1) reached the balcony on the fourth level of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building in the left-field corner. It was his fourth and came with Kolten Wong aboard on an infield single.
Manny Machado hit a two-run home run in the fourth, giving the Padres three players with at least 20, and Eric Hosmer had three hits. San Diego had its four-game winning streak snapped.
Carlos Martínez (2-0) pitched 2⅔ innings of relief for the win and Dominic Leone got the final two outs for his first save.
Phillies 13, Marlins 6
In Miami, Bryce Harper homered and drove in four to help Philadelphia end a streak of five consecutive losses to last-place Miami.
Harper hit run-scoring singles in the first and sixth innings and a two-run homer in the eighth, his 15th. That gave him 199 career homers and 999 hits, and increased his average to .250.
Jake Arrieta (8-6) allowed four runs in six innings but contributed a two-run single. Jean Segura and Cesar Hernandez each had three of the Phillies’ 17 hits and scored twice, and Brad Miller hit his third homer and singled in a run.
Miami catcher Jorge Alfaro hit two-run homer with a bloody nose following collision in the sixth. Trevor Richards (3-9) allowed three runs in five innings.
Royals 7, Blue Jays 6
Toronto, Jorge Soler homered and had two RBIs, Brad Keller (4-9) pitched five innings to win for the first time since May 22, and Kansas City beat Toronto.
Justin Smoak homered twice for the Blue Jays but ended the game by fouling out against right-hander Ian Kennedy in the ninth, stranding the tying run at second base.
Whit Merrifield reached base three times and Alex Gordon drove in a pair as Kansas City answered Toronto’s five-run second inning with a five-run third against struggling Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez (3-11).
Giants 10, Diamondbacks 4
In San Francisco, Kevin Pillar had four hits including a homer and drove in five runs, Madison Bumgarner pitched seven strong innings, and San Francisco beat Arizona.
Buster Posey had three hits including a double for the Giants, who split the four-game series with their NL West rivals.
Bumgarner (5-7) gave up one run on four hits. He struck out nine and walked none. Pillar put the Giants ahead in the bottom of the second with a two-run homer off Robbie Ray (5-6).
Mets 8, Braves 5
In New York, Newly named All-Stars Jeff McNeil and Pete Alonso had the big hits in a five-run eighth inning that rallied New York past Atlanta and snapped a seven-game losing streak.
Todd Frazier launched a long homer to begin the comeback and finished with three hits and two RBIs. McNeil and J.D. Davis also had three hits apiece for the Mets, who prevented a three-game sweep by the NL East leaders and won for only the fifth time in 18 games.
All-Star starter Ronald Acuña Jr. homered for the Braves. He had three hits and scored three times.
Edwin Diaz closed one out for New York’s beleaguered bullpen, getting three quick outs for his 17th save in 21 tries.
Wilmer Font (2-2) worked two hitless innings for his first win with the Mets. Sean Newcomb (2-1) took the loss.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5