Ohtani, Upton hit Halos past Tigers 11-5 on Trout’s birthday
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mike Trout couldn’t play on his 27th birthday, thanks to a sore right wrist.
Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels made sure the fans in the giveaway T-shirts bearing Trout’s uniform No. 27 still went home in a celebratory mood.
Ohtani hit a three-run homer during a seven-run first inning, and the Angels pounded out 13 hits in an 11-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday.
Trout missed his sixth consecutive game with an injury that will sideline him at least until Friday during the second-longest injury absence of his career — but for one night, his teammates didn’t miss the two-time AL MVP’s peerless bat at the Big A. Rookie catcher Francisco Arcia had a two-run single during their first-inning outburst after Detroit scored two runs in its half of the first.
“You like to get right back into the game after you give up a few early, and we carried some momentum there in the first,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Shohei’s homer was a huge hit at the time.”
With Trout sidelined, Ohtani moved up to third in the order — and he didn’t disappoint. His 411-foot drive to the opposite field was his third homer in August, and he added a single for his third multihit performance in five games.
“I may look like I’m taking easy swings in my at-bats, but I’m swinging pretty hard,” Ohtani said through a translator. “I haven’t really changed my approach. Back when I was in Japan, that was one of my strengths, going to the opposite field.”
Justin Upton later added a two-run homer during Los Angeles’ second straight win over Detroit. The Angels haven’t lost a home series to the Tigers since August 2009.
Jeimer Candelario hit a two-run homer in the fifth and drove in three runs as the Tigers emerged from their four-game offensive funk, but still dropped to 0-5 on their six-game California trip.
The Angels’ first eight batters reached base with six hits, an error and a walk against Jacob Turner (0-1), who lasted just one inning in his first appearance for Detroit since 2012. Turner, a former Tigers prospect who returned on a minor league deal this season, struggled in the rotation spot opened by Mike Fiers’ trade to Oakland.
“The big thing was he threw (37) pitches, and we didn’t make some plays,” Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Believe me, it’s not all on him. He took the beating for it ... (but) we played sloppy baseball tonight.”
Detroit scored just three runs over 40 innings in the first four games of its trip, but matched that total in two innings against Andrew Heaney (7-7). Candelario had an RBI double in the first inning, and JaCoby Jones added a run-scoring double in the second.
Upton snapped a 0-for-15 slump with an infield single in the first. The former Tigers slugger added his 22nd homer in the sixth.
Heaney set a new career high with his seventh victory, but this one won’t go in the trophy case. He persevered through five rocky innings in his shortest home outing since April 20, yielding five runs and eight hits.
“It’s nice to not pitch all that well and get a win,” Heaney said. “It’s nice for the team to get a win.”
Eric Young Jr. made an outstanding defensive play for the second straight night while filling Trout’s spot in center field. The veteran dived to catch James McCann’s sinking liner in the sixth and then made a precise throw to double up Ronny Rodriguez at first.
TIME TO THROW
Ohtani got more good news before the game when the Angels announced the rookie will throw a bullpen session Saturday in the next step in his return from a sprained elbow ligament.
“I’ve been waiting for this day,” Ohtani said. “I’ve been very eager to get back on the mound.”
Arcia’s bases-loaded single gave him 12 RBIs in his first three home starts. That’s a record for any player in the first three home starts of a major league career since RBIs became an official stat in 1920, according to STATS LLC.
Tigers: Blaine Hardy will take another start in the rotation Wednesday in place of Michael Fulmer, who is still recovering from an oblique strain at Detroit’s spring training complex in Florida.
Angels: Nick Tropeano was placed on the disabled list for the third time this season with right shoulder stiffness. The right-hander threw five innings of one-hit ball Monday against Detroit, but was pulled after just 62 pitches.
Tigers: Hardy (4-3, 3.25 ERA) got a no-decision last week despite throwing seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball against Oakland, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He has faced the Angels six times in his career, but in relief each time.
Angels: Jaime Barria (6-7, 3.84 ERA) makes the 17th start of his steady rookie season. He got a no-decision last week in Cleveland after throwing five solid innings.
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