Laureano’s 3-run HR lifts A’s after Ohtani leaves mound
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Angels manager Joe Maddon realizes there will be days when Shohei Ohtani dominates on the mound with no results to show for it.
Ramón Laureano hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning as Oakland finally got on the board once Ohtani was done pitching, and the Athletics beat Los Angeles 4-1 on Monday night.
“As a pitcher, of course you want to have a good game and actually win the ballgame,” Ohtani said through translator Ippei Mizuhara. “That’s not always going to happen and I’m partly at fault for that, too. I’m in the lineup most of my starts. And today I was only able to get one hit.”
Laureano connected against Steve Cishek (0-1), who hadn’t allowed a homer over his first 46 games and 41 1/3 innings. Ohtani moved to right field following six scoreless innings and eight strikeouts on the mound.
“Special, very special,” Maddon said of Ohtani’s outing.
The two-way star, who leads the majors with 34 homers, is expected to play as the designated hitter Tuesday, Maddon said.
All-Star Matt Olson hit his team-leading 24th homer in the eighth for Oakland.
The A’s managed just three hits through Ohtani’s six innings, but Cole Irvin (7-8) hung tough shutting down the Los Angeles lineup over seven scoreless innings.
At the plate, Ohtani doubled on a line drive to center field with two outs in the third but Oakland saved a run on Laureano’s throw to shortstop Elvis Andrus, who fired home in time for catcher Sean Murphy to tag out David Fletcher. Los Angeles challenged and the play was upheld upon replay review.
Fans were giddy to catch a glimpse of Ohtani, with hundreds of the 14,856 in attendance regularly raising their cell phone cameras to capture photos and videos when Ohtani batted and pitched.
“When Ohtani’s rolling like that, you like to see him out of there,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said of the slugging pitcher giving way to the bullpen.
Brandon Marsh hit an RBI double in the ninth against Lou Trivino, who finished for a two-inning save when third baseman Matt Chapman made a dazzling catch against the wall in foul territory to end it on Adam Eaton’s fly.
The Oakland City Council is expected to vote at its meeting Tuesday on whether to preliminarily approve the A’s new ballpark project at Howard Terminal in Jack London Square.
In May, Major League Baseball instructed Oakland’s brass to explore relocation options if no ballpark agreement could be reached.
“Hopefully it goes in our direction,” Melvin said. “I’d love to stay in Oakland. I hope the team stays in Oakland. We have a long, rich history here. I think that’s the case with anybody who’s either grown up here or lives here or is an Oakland A’s baseball fan or a player.”
The A’s are the last professional franchise in the city after the Golden State Warriors relocated to San Francisco and the NFL’s Raiders to Las Vegas.
A’s top draft pick Max Muncy took batting practice and mixed with the major leaguers before the game, posing for a photo with Angels slugger Mike Trout and chatting up the injured star.
Muncy, who signed earlier in the day, was selected 25th overall out of Thousand Oaks High in Southern California, talked to Chapman, whose advice was “enjoy it.”
“The work starts right now,” Muncy said.
He kept things light, too, discussing the Dodgers star with the same name.
“I feel worse for him. He’s at the All-Star Game getting questions about me,” the younger Muncy said.
Angels: Trout made the trip and watched his team’s pregame routine from behind the batting cage as he works back from a strained right calf sustained May 17. Trout will still need a rehab assignment before being activated from the injured list. “I like the fact that he’s here to push himself a bit,” Maddon said. ... Maddon had no new details on the progress of 3B Anthony Rendon, whose injured left hamstring is keeping him out longer than expected.
Athletics: RHP Mike Fiers, sidelined since May 7 with a strained pitching elbow, isn’t yet ready to start playing catch in his rehab progression. Melvin isn’t sure when that will be and doesn’t have a guess for when Fiers might be ready to pitch. “He’s feeling better in his strengthening,” Melvin said.
A’s RHP James Kaprilian (4-3, 2.90 ERA) makes his 12th career start pitching the afternoon finale of the quick two-game series opposite LHP José Suarez, who owns a 1.80 road ERA in 2021.
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