Ohtani, Ward lead Angels over Guardians 9-5 for 4th straight

The Associated Press
Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani grounds out during the first inning of the team’s game against the Cleveland Guardians on Wednesday in Anaheim, Calif.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Taylor Ward hit a grand slam and finished a single shy of the cycle, Shohei Ohtani showed off his two-way prowess and the surging Los Angeles Angels rolled to a 9-5 victory over the Cleveland Guardians for their fourth consecutive victory Wednesday night.

Mike Trout added a pair of RBI doubles and extended his hitting streak to 10 games for the Angels, who look for their first four-game sweep over Cleveland at The Big A since 1982 on Thursday afternoon.

The Guardians dropped their sixth straight despite José Ramírez’s two home runs. The All-Star third baseman had two-run shots in the first and eighth innings.

Ward’s slam off Zach Plesac (1-2) in the second inning was the third of his career and gave the Angels a 6-2 lead.

The right fielder also had a leadoff double in the first and a triple in the sixth. He scored four times.

With a chance at the cycle in the seventh, he flied out to end the inning.

Ward missed the first eight games of the season due to a right groin strain, but is batting .395 since returning to the lineup. He has three home runs in the series, including the first multi-homer game of his career on Monday.

Ohtani (2-2) won his second straight start, going five innings and allowing two runs on five hits with four strikeouts. The reigning AL MVP — who came into the game batting .213 on the season and 3 for 20 during the homestand — also had his first three-hit game of the season and drove in a run.

Ohtani had a perfect game through 5⅓ innings in his previous outing last Thursday at Houston, but this start was more of a struggle. Myles Straw drew a walk to lead off the game before Ramírez connected on a slider with one out and put it over the wall in center field to make it 2-0. It was the second home run allowed by Ohtani this season.

The two-way sensation from Japan allowed four hits and was at 44 pitches after two innings before settling down and retiring the last eight batters he faced.

Trout brought the Angels within 2-1 in the first with a double off the left-field wall. He was a couple feet shy of a home run in the sixth when his line drive hit the wall in the left-field corner for another extra-base hit.

The three-time AL MVP is 16 for 37 (.432) during his hitting streak.

Plesac came in 7-0 for his career against the AL West, including a shutout over the Angels in 2019, but struggled against a hot lineup. The right-hander allowed seven runs (six earned) and seven hits in 3⅔ innings.