Ohtani carries the Angels past Boston, ending Los Angeles’ 14-game skid | Sports News

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By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Reporter

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani threw a stellar seven innings and hit a two-run homer, and the Los Angeles Angels ended their 14-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Red Sox in Boston Thursday night.

Andrew Velazquez added a three-run homer in the sixth, but the Angels ended the longest skid in franchise history on the shoulders of their incomparable AL MVP, both on the mound and at home plate. .

Ohtani (4-4) drove in four hits and a run while striking out six in an ace-worthy performance. He also had two hits and gave the Angels the lead for the first time by smashing his 12th homer of the season against Nick Pivetta (5-5) in the fifth inning.

Los Angeles won for the first time since May 24 and for the first time under interim manager Phil Nevin, who replaced sacked Joe Maddon after Monday’s series-opening loss. The Halos won just the fourth time in 22 games since May 15, when they were 24-13 and held first place in the AL West.

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Alex Verdugo hit an RBI single in the eighth for the Red Sox, whose seven-game winning streak ended with their first loss in the first two stops of their 10-game West Coast road trip. Boston still won 16 out of 22 overall.

Pivetta struck out 11 for the most by a Boston pitcher this season while getting six hits and two walks.

Ohtani was sharp on the mound after struggling in his two previous starts, including finishing the third inning by knocking out Rafael Devers with a 101mph fastball – the third-fastest pitch of his career and his fastest batting fast all the time. He caused 18 swings and misses after getting just three in his previous start against the Yankees last week.

The Angels had a lead after the sixth inning for the seventh time in the last 15 games, but their inconsistent bullpen hung on to that advantage after Ohtani ended his start with two strikeouts in the seventh.

Ryan Tepera had two hits and a run in the eighth, and Raisel Iglesias threw a perfect ninth for his 12th save.

The Angels had gone 18 straight scoreless innings against Boston before Ohtani’s outburst in the fifth, and their roster struggled early again without starters Mike Trout, Taylor Ward, Anthony Rendon, David Fletcher, Brandon Marsh and Luis Rengifo. Trout missed his second straight game with a tight groin.

The Angels got an unlikely contribution from Velazquez, who ended their 0-for-22 slump with a two-out shot on Hirokazu Sawamura in the elevated right-field stands. Sawamura inherited a two-man jam with no one and nearly escaped before the Los Angeles light shortstop arrived with his first hit of June.

Ohtani narrowly avoided being hit by Franchy Cordero’s broken bat in the second inning. Velazquez lined up the resulting grounder and made a bad home pitch, but Max Stassi lined up the rebound and tagged Verdugo to keep the game scoreless.

Red Sox: Reliever Hansel Robles pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning when he returned from the injured list after being out for two weeks with back spasms. Robles recorded 26 saves during three seasons with the Angels, including a stellar campaign in 2019 and a terrible one in 2020, leading to his departure. … Nathan Eovaldi suffered right hip discomfort on Wednesday in his five-inning start, but manager Alex Cora expects him to make his next start on schedule.

Angels: Nevin said Trout’s injury still isn’t considered a long-term concern. … Noah Syndergaard won’t face the Mets Sunday night as originally planned because Nevin wants to give him an extra day between starts. Thor is uninjured, Nevin said.

Red Sox: After a late night steal on the coast, Rich Hill (2-3, 4.40 ERA) takes the mound on Friday to open a three-game Seattle series.

Angels: Tylor Megill (4-2, 4.41 ERA) takes the mound for the Mets on Friday when New York opens a three-game weekend series at the Big A. Los Angeles hasn’t announced a starter, but s waiting to call someone back from the miners.

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