With much-improved performances from Shohei Ohtani’s teammates on the mound and at bats in recent days, the Los Angeles Angels appear to be emerging from their long-running slump.
There is absolutely no end in sight to the New York Yankees’ malaise.
Ohtani had an RBI triple, Mickey Moniak hit a two-run homer and Patrick Sandoval pitched two-hit ball into the eighth inning of the Angels’ 5-1 win over New York on Tuesday night.
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Moniak had three hits, one more than the Yankees, and drove in three runs for the Angels, who have won three of four after going 1-10. With its first series win since June 16-18 against Kansas City, Los Angeles is back at .500 as it tries to progress enough in the AL postseason race to justify keeping Ohtani past the date. change limit of August 1.
«It was (great) to be able to do something to give us an early lead, and then Sandy ran out of lights, and it turned out that was all we needed,» Moniak said of his first-inning home run. «With the talent we have in our lineup, I like our odds.»
Ohtani’s career-best streak of three straight games with a home run ended, but the two-way superstar and major league home run leader delivered his seventh triple in the fifth inning, the most in the majors, scoring Zach Neto from the first.
Sandoval (5-7) was outstanding in his first start in 13 days, mixing his breaking balls and changeups to near perfection while retiring 22 of New York’s 27 batters and outscoring Domingo German (5-6).
Sandoval finished the Angels’ longest outing by a starter in three weeks with seven strikeouts, receiving a standing ovation as he left the mound.
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«It’s amazing to see the lineup come to Germán like that, and then I go out there and do my job,» Sandoval said.
Gleyber Torres’ home run in the third inning was New York’s only hit until Anthony Volpe’s one-out single finally chased Sandoval. The Yankees are 1-4 on their road trip coming off the break, losing both series in Denver and Anaheim.
«(Sandoval) was dominating us,» manager Aaron Boone said. «He was definitely crafty, but we’ve got to do better… We just couldn’t get enough of the barrel on the ball.»
The Yankees’ offensive woes show no signs of abating in the extended absence of Aaron Judge. New York fell to 15-21 since the AL MVP was injured early last month, scoring two runs or fewer for the 14th time.
His two hits tied a season low. New York is hitting .217, the worst average in the majors since Judge’s injury at Dodger Stadium.
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«There’s no giving up on this,» Boone said. «We’ve got really good players, and a lot of guys who are going through a rough patch, for some probably as rough a patch as they’ve ever had in their career. You don’t take your ball and go home.» You stick your nose in there and polish it off. We are doing that. They are leaving no stone unturned. It’s not for a lack of work, focus and conversations.»
Germán struck out nine for the third time in his last four starts, but also allowed five runs, four hits and three walks.
Moniak extended his career-long hitting streak to 10 games in the first inning with the 11th home run of his impressive season. Moniak also extended the Angels’ team streak to 17 straight games with a home run, just one shy of the franchise record set in August 1982.
Torres hit his 14th home run in the third.
Ohtani drew the Angels’ third straight walk to load the bases in the third, but Germán allowed just one run when Michael Stefanic scored on a wild pitch.
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Ohtani’s triple in the fifth left his bat at a searing 110.5 mph, and he scored moments later on Moniak’s single.
Infielder George Lombard Jr., the Yankees’ first-round pick in the amateur draft, agreed to a $3.3 million signing bonus, up from his $3,065,000 spot. Lombard, the son of the Detroit Tigers’ bench coach, hit .478 with six home runs and 22 RBIs in 29 games as a senior at Gulliver Prep High School in Miami.
Yankees: Boone said Judge is «close» to returning, but the manager didn’t give a specific range, saying it could be days or weeks. Judge attended batting practice Tuesday in Anaheim. The next steps for him in rehab are running, cutting and agility. … OF Greg Allen moved from Single-A Tampa to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on his rehab assignment. He has been out since June 2 with a hip flexor strain.
Angels: Rookie C Logan O’Hoppe worked out catching for the first time since he tore his labrum, throwing on flat ground. He hopes to return in August.
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Carlos Rodón (0-2, 5.23 ERA) makes his third start for the Yankees on Wednesday after missing the first half of his debut season in New York with injuries. Los Angeles responds with Chase Silseth (1-1, 5.30 ERA), coming up from the minors for the starting job.