Astros thump Angels, Ohtani gets 1st hit

AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez
Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani scores against the Houston Astros on a single by Jared Walsh during the first inning of a baseball game on Friday.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Jeremy Peña got something even more rare than his first major league home run Friday night.

The Astros rookie got to see the looks on his parents’ faces when he made that dream a reality.

Peña connected for the first time while parents Gerónimo and Carmen Cecilia were being interviewed on the broadcast, a moment made for highlight reels while Houston thumped the Los Angeles Angels 13-6 Friday night.

Justin Verlander told Peña about the interview when he got back to the dugout, and the 24-year-old got to watch it after the game.

“It was pretty cool,” said Peña, who had the balls from his first hit and homer in his locker after the game. “You don’t plan that. So when they told me they got that on camera, it was awesome to see.”

Kyle Tucker hit two of Houston’s six homers, with Jose Altuve, Aledmys Díaz and Alex Bregman also connecting. It’s the 16th time Houston has had at least six homers in a game, and five of those have come since 2019. The Astros had 14 hits.

“I mean, this is what this team is capable of. When I got here (in 2020), guys were saying it happens fast. It does happen fast,” manager Dusty Baker said.

Jared Walsh had three hits and drove in two for the Angels.

Peña, Houston’s rookie replacement at shortstop after Carlos Correa signed with Minnesota, got his first big league hit with a single in the second inning. He then led off the seventh with a drive to left-center while his mom and dad were being interviewed in the stands by Apple TV+.

“I’m happy, happy now,” Geronimo Peña said.

The homer sparked an eight-run inning that also included a three-run shot by Tucker and extended Houston’s lead to 12-2. Tucker added a solo shot in the ninth.

Peña said getting the hit in the third helped ease some pressure.

“I just play the kid. You’ve got plenty of time to be serious,” Baker said. “Just go out there and play to the best of your ability. It’s great when you see a kid doing something outstanding.”

Rafael Montero (1-0) was the winning pitcher while Oliver Ortega (0-1) took the loss.

Altuve went deep to left off Reid Detmers on the fifth pitch of the game. It was the 22nd career leadoff homer for the Astros second baseman.

The Angels answered with two runs in bottom of the first. Reigning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani led off with his first hit of the season, a bloop single to center, advanced to second on Anthony Rendon’s hit and scored on Walsh’s single. Rendon later scored on a passed ball.