ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Josh Naylor drove in the tie-breaking run in the sixth, Aaron Civale pitched seven strong innings and the Cleveland Indians overcame Shohei Ohtani’s latest do-everything performance for a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night.
Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts after a successful bunt against the Cleveland Indians during the sixth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 19, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Jake Bauers homered and Franmil Reyes had an RBI double as Cleveland took the final two games of the series in Anaheim after a four-game skid.
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Ohtani pitched five-hit ball into the fifth with five strikeouts for the Angels, and he subsequently moved from the mound to right field for 1 1/3 more innings, allowing him to get a third at-bat. The majors’ home run leader went 1 for 3 at the plate with a bunt single.
But Civale (6-1) yielded four hits and a walk while striking out eight in the latest impressive start of his first full major league season. Naylor then came through with an RBI single off reliever Tony Watson (2-2) in the sixth.
James Karinchak pitched the ninth for his fifth save. Cleveland didn’t allow an Angels runner past first base in the final five innings.
Jared Walsh homered and José Iglesias had an RBI double for the Angels, who have lost six of eight. Los Angeles is 0-2 since losing Mike Trout for at least six weeks with a strained calf.
Ohtani pitched while he was also the majors’ leader in homers for the third time this year, becoming the first player since Babe Ruth in 1919 to accomplish that feat multiple times in a season.
Although his velocity peaked at 95 mph — low for a right-hander with 100-mph stuff — Ohtani was quite effective against everyone except Bauers, who homered in the fifth, and Reyes, who had an RBI double in the first and another double in the fourth.
Ohtani struck out Cleveland’s first two batters, but José Ramírez singled, stole second and scored on Reyes’ slow-rolling double down an unprotected left field line thanks to the shift.
Civale retired his first eight batters, but LA evened it when David Fletcher snapped his 0-for-17 skid with a triple and scored on Iglesias’ drive toward the gap.
Walsh put the Angels ahead with his eighth homer in the fourth inning, but Bauers tied it in the fifth with a homer, just the third allowed by Ohtani this season.
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The Angels pulled Ohtani from the mound with two outs in the fifth, but he moved into the outfield for the third time this season.
He came back out to right for the sixth, but Los Angeles fell behind. Ramírez walked, advanced on a groundout and scored when Naylor’s drive back to Watson glanced off the pitcher and past the shift into center field.
Ohtani led off the Angels’ sixth with a bunt single to beat the shift, but was caught stealing second.
WHAT A THROW
The Angels kept their deficit to 3-2 in the seventh when Justin Upton made a running catch and an extraordinary throw from left field to get Amed Rosario at the plate.
Angels: RHP Jaime Barria was sent down to Triple-A Salt Lake after throwing four innings Tuesday night. LHP Dillon Peters’ contract was selected.
Indians: After a day off, Triston McKenzie (1-2, 5.79) takes the mound Friday in Cleveland for the opener of a weekend series with Minnesota.
Angels: The Twins visit Angel Stadium on Thursday for a makeup doubleheader necessitated when two games last month were postponed by a COVID-19 outbreak for Minnesota. RHP Alex Cobb (1-2, 5.48 ERA) will come off the 10-day injured list to start the opener, and RHP Griffin Canning (3-2, 4.78) will start the second game.
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