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OC Register: Shohei Ohtani hits 38th HR, but Blue Jays club 4 to rout Angels


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ANAHEIM — In the prelude to one of the more unique nights on the MLB calendar, Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani upped the ante the best way he knows how.

Ohtani hit his MLB-leading 38th home run of the season on Wednesday night, but his one-man offensive show was overmatched. The Toronto Blue Jays delivered a more thorough power display, and 11 strikeouts from Alek Manoah, handing the Angels their fourth loss in five games, 10-2.

Next up is Thursday’s series finale, when Ohtani takes the mound for the Angels. Hitting a home run the day before he takes the mound is not unprecedented. He has done that plenty of times this season.

Instead, MLB’s home run leader will be pitching to the player with the second-most home runs in the major leagues: Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

“That’s probably a first, especially in August,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “There are so many great sub-plots to this whole thing and one of my lines all year, to the guys early in camp, and with myself on the lineup card every day, is to write ‘#dontmissit.’”

Guerrero, whose father knew plenty about hitting home runs in Anaheim, has gone deep 35 times this season, but he was held in check Wednesday. It was Lourdes Gurriel Jr., George Springer and Teoscar Hernandez who went deep to power Toronto, which has won 12 of its last 14 games and is second in the majors with 172 home runs.

Springer hit a pair of home runs, while Hernandez’s first career grand slam, and 18th home run of the season, gave the Blue Jays a 7-2 lead in the fifth inning and Toronto put away the game from there.

Angels left-hander Sam Selman absorbed four of the five Blue Jays runs in the fifth, including the slam to the right-handed hitting Hernandez with right-hander Aaron Slegers warming up in the bullpen.

Angels starter Dylan Bundy (2-9) gave up three runs on four hits over four innings, including the home runs by Gurriel and Springer in the third inning.

The rough evening for the Angels continued when catcher Max Stassi left in the sixth inning after he was hit by a pitch in the left forearm by a 95 mph fastball from Manoah. X-rays were negative and he is being listed as day-to-day.

The Angels did get first baseman Jared Walsh back from the disabled list Wednesday and he went 1 for 4 with a sixth-inning single and two strikeouts.

With center fielder Mike Trout (calf) still out, third baseman Anthony Rendon done for the season and the Angels continuing to slip in the AL wild-card standings, Ohtani’s two-way exploits are the top attraction, but even his drawing power could be waning. An Ohtani T-shirt night Wednesday drew a crowd of just 22,620.

More to come on this story.

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