The Associated PressANAHEIM, 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 125-meter 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.
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.”
Colon notches record victory
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Bartolo Colon reached out and snagged the comeback liner while slipping into a squat on the mound.
The portly 45-year-old pitcher managed to stay upright, with a smile on his face and a ball from his milestone victory secured firmly in his glove.
Colon became the top winning pitcher born in Latin America, punctuating his 246th career victory with that nifty snag for the last out of his seven innings as the Texas Rangers roughed up Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners 11-4 on Tuesday night.
On his sixth try since earning his 245th win on June 30 to match the mark held by Nicaragua’s Dennis Martinez, the Rangers hurler from the Dominican Republic finally had the record to himself.
“It was a long journey, but it finally came and it feels good,” said Colon, who got his last out against Dee Gordon on his 94th pitch.
Colon (6-10) gave up four runs and eight hits in seven innings. The portly and popular right-hander walked none and struck out one. He retired 14 of the last 16 batters he faced after Seattle had two triples in the third, an inning after back-to-back homers by Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager.