Ohtani belts 20th homer, but Angels lose 5th straight

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) hits a home run against the Atlanta Braves during the fifth inning at Truist Park on Saturday.

Los Angeles Angels two-way All-Star Shohei Ohtani went 2-for-4, one of the hits his 20th home run of the season, but it wasn’t enough as the Atlanta Braves rolled to a 7-2 victory on Saturday night in Atlanta.

Ohtani, who batted leadoff as the designated hitter, went deep in his third at-bat for his first longball in nine games. But Angels starter Patrick Sandoval (3-6) wasn’t sharp, and the team fell behind early and lost its fifth consecutive decision.

Ohtani came up with one out and the bases empty in the fifth inning against Kyle Wright (12-4), who had only allowed a run through 4⅓ innings.

Ohtani put an easy swing on the fifth pitch of the at-bat, a changeup down in the zone, and drove a hard liner that barely cleared the fence in right for a homer.

The shot came off the bat at a launch angle of 22 degrees, but reached the seats because Ohtani sent the ball toward the stands at 177 kph.

Including last year, it’s the third time Ohtani has hit at least 20 longballs in a season.