ANAHIM, CA – In a match between the top two contenders for the MLS Player of the Year award, Shohei Ohtani had the biggest hit of the night.
AL MVP Governor became the first player in major league history to score 30 home runs and record 10 wins in the same season as the Los Angeles Angels rallied for a 3-2 win over the New York Yankees on Wednesday.
Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said: “In a match like this, with those fans and the way the stadium was, one of the stars would have gone up there, and Shuhei had a good game.”
Ohtani’s three-stroke shot to center on a 97.9 mph fastball by Gerrit Cole (10-7) in sixth put the Angels ahead after being held back by two goals in the first five rounds. This was the third time he had delved into the past four matches.
The Japanese two-way phenom went 5-for-12 with two Crawlers and five RBIs in a three-game series against the Yankees and AL MVP favorite Aaron Judge.
Ohtani said through translator Ebi Mizuhara of the match against the judge, “It definitely leads me to the motivation to do better. I mean, try to find that equipment.” “It’s something I think about mostly, but I try to take it game by game and then put everything back together.”
Judge was sound on two hitters but tied twice after going 4-7 with two homers and four RBIs in his first two matches.
Otani came close to calling in a two-stage shot in the first half before midfielder Aaron Hicks jumped into the wall to hit it. After David Fletcher had a single in the sixth set and Mike Trout got on board when Yankees’ Isaiah Keener-Valiva took off the knockout, Ohtani got all of Cole’s court in the 2-0 count to clear the rules.
“Probably the worst fastball of the night. A terrible spot,” said Cole, who went seven innings and allowed three runs (two got) and six by fours. “I was trying to get away. I wasn’t trying to give up there either. Just a huge mistake.”
Otani, who is also the first Japanese-born player to score at least 30 home runs in consecutive seasons, pumped his fists while rounding first base.
“I missed it on my first hit,” Ohtani said. “I wanted the next opportunity.” “Fortunately, Trout dealt with this bug and I was glad I was able to get through it.”
The Yankees were stopped by three strokes, they had nothing after the fifth inning but still had a chance in the ninth. Jimmy Herget beat Judge Judge and Giancarlo Stanton to lead ninth but beat Josh Donaldson and Jaliber Torres before Oswaldo Cabrera trailed to stop Andrew Velasquez to finish the match. Hergate has tackled the Angels for the fifth time, who have won five of the past six.
Patrick Sandoval (5-9) hit seven times and allowed twice in seven rounds to win for the second time in his past three starts.
Cole, who grew up in nearby Newport Beach, had seven straight wins against his childhood team and ended up losing for the first time in six games that started at Angle Stadium.
“It’s a tough one,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “It was a pitcher duel and it cost us.”
The Yankees only had one hit in the first four innings before breaking through in the fifth. Leading two times down the left line, Donaldson advanced to third on the field and scored when Gleiber Torres lined up a double in the right field gap.
Hicks’ massive sacrifice flying deep into left field brought Torres to make it 2-0.
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