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OC Register: Shohei Ohtani’s pinch-hit homer leads Angels to series victory over Dodgers


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ANAHEIM — A night that could have belonged to Yasiel Puig ended up being stolen by Shohei Ohtani, with Puig not even making it to the end.

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Ohtani belted a 443-foot homer as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning, snapping a tie and helping the Angels to a 4-3 victory over the Dodgers on Sunday night.

An Angel Stadium crowd of 42,213 with split allegiances saw the Angels win the deciding game of the series, with all three games decided by one run.

They saw Puig get the Dodgers going with a three-run homer in the second inning against Andrew Heaney.

Puig, though, would swing so hard in his next at-bat that he left the game with a right intercostal oblique strain.

The Dodgers didn’t score another run, with the Angels evening the game on Justin Upton’s two-run single in the third — after an intentional walk to Mike Trout — and Albert Pujols’ solo homer in the sixth.

The Dodgers then pulled lefty starter Alex Wood, which allowed the Angels to use the left-handed hitting Ohtani off the bench. Ohtani had struggled against lefties this season, so he began the game on the bench.

There was also some concern that Ohtani may have been unable to play after he fouled a ball off his knee on Saturday.

Ohtani seemed to be fine when he blasted a 2-and-2 pitch from J.T. Chargois onto the fake rocks beyond the center field fence, giving the Angels the lead.

It was Ohtani’s first homer since May 17, and the first pinch-hit homer of his young career.

It came just in time to get a lead for Heaney, who was dominant following the hanging curve he threw Puig. Heaney retired the next 12 Dodgers hitters.

He got into a two-out jam in the sixth, as the Dodgers loaded the bases on two hits and a walk. Heaney retired Cody Bellinger on a grounder, barely beating Bellinger to the bag, to end the inning. He tacked on a perfect seventh, finishing with his 10th strikeout. That equaled his career high.

More to come on this story.

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