ANGELS 5, TWINS 4
MINNEAPOLIS -- One week into Shohei Ohtani's return to the Los Angeles Angels, the lineup is looking sharp.
Minnesota ace Jose Berrios bore the brunt of their batting success on Monday night.
Ohtani hit his first home run of the season, a towering two-run shot in the third inning against Berrios, and Tommy La Stella hit the go-ahead home run in the sixth to give the Angels a 5-4 victory over the Twins.
"I've been hitting the ball in the air recently," Ohtani said through an interpreter. "I think it showed today that I'm improving."
The Angels are 5-2 on this nine-game trip that started with Ohtani's 2019 debut after Tommy John elbow surgery that has shelved the two-way Japanese sensation's pitching prowess for now.
"We've been waiting to get him back. You see how different the lineup is when he's in there, and hopefully he's starting to get his timing," La Stella said.
Ohtani reached base on four of his five plate appearances. His 429-foot drive off the video board facade beneath the second deck in left-center field was the highlight of the three-run, five-hit third. The AL Rookie of the Year homered 22 times in 326 at-bats in 2018.
"We all know the power's there, and that was a no-doubter to the opposite field," Angels Manager Brad Ausmus said. "You don't see a lot of balls hit the other way from many people in this game that way."
La Stella hit his team-leading 10th home run, in 36 games, and went 3 for 5. The 30-year-old second baseman, who came to the Angels in a largely unnoticed trade with the Chicago Cubs, had 10 home runs in 396 major-league games entering this season.
Just as impressive as the power was the way the Angels continually beat the shifts employed by the Twins. Albert Pujols, who went 3 for 5, poked a single off an 0-2 curveball past the glove of Berrios (6-2) and through the empty right side of the infield in the fifth for a 4-2 lead.
Jorge Polanco and Marwin Gonzalez each hit two-run home runs off Angels starter Tyler Skaggs (4-3), but the Twins weren't able to overcome this uncharacteristic vulnerability by their All-Star right-hander.
"Today was one of those days where the ball found open spaces against us, and that's just part of the game," said Berrios, who gave up 5 runs and a career-high 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings, his shortest start of the year, while walking 3. He induced two groundball double plays.
WHITE SOX 5, INDIANS 2 Yoán Moncada hit two of Chicago's four solo home runs and Reynaldo López pitched 7 2/3 innings, helping host Chicago beat Cleveland. José Abreu and Welington Castillo also connected for Chicago, which earned its third consecutive victory. The White Sox improved to 4-3 against the Indians this season after they went 5-14 against the Tribe last year. López (3-4) allowed 1 earned run and 2 hits, struck out 6 and walked 2. It was the right-hander's first victory since he fanned 14 in a 4-1 victory over Detroit on April 28. Francisco Lindor hit his 13th career leadoff home run for Cleveland, which lost for the third time in four games.
ASTROS 8, TIGERS 1 Aledmys Diaz, Robinson Chirinos, Jake Marisnick and Alex Bregman homered for visiting Houston, which extended its winning streak to six games. Brad Peacock (4-2) allowed 1 run and 3 hits in 5 innings for Houston, which has won nine of its last 10 games. The American league West-leading Astros knocked Matthew Boyd (4-3) out of the game in four innings, the shortest start of the season for the Detroit lefty. He allowed 3 runs and 5 hits and threw 96 pitches. Houston got home runs from its No. 6, 8 and 9 hitters before Bregman added his 13th of the year. The Astros scored three runs in a three-batter span in the second inning, then added two more in the seventh and three in the ninth.
PHILLIES 7, BREWERS 4 J.T. Realmuto doubled in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, Cesar Hernandez hit a two-run home run and host Philadelphia beat Milwaukee. Lorenzo Cain had a career-high five hits and Mike Moustakas homered for Milwaukee. Bryce Harper struck out three times and was hitless in four at-bats but made a diving catch on Moustakas' liner to right field with two outs, the bases loaded and scored tied in the seventh. The National League East-leading Phillies then rallied in the bottom half. Jean Segura struck out swinging but reached on a wild pitch by Matt Albers (2-2). Alex Claudio entered and retired Harper on a fly to center. Junior Guerra replaced him and struck out Rhys Hoskins. But Realmuto ripped a double to left-center to score Segura for a 5-4 lead. After Hernandez walked, Odubel Herrera extended the lead to 7-4 with a two-run double.
Sports on 05/14/2019
Print Headline: Ohtani powers up for first time this season