Trout HR 6th game in row; Ohtani blister, Angels top Astros

AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith
Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) is removed from the baseball game during the sixth inning of the team’s game against the Houston Astros Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Houston.

HOUSTON (AP) — Mike Trout homered in his sixth straight game to set an Angels franchise record, Shohei Ohtani threw five solid innings before exiting because of a blister and Los Angeles beat the Houston Astros 6-1 on Saturday night.

Trout hit his 34th homer, a three-run drive to left field in the second inning. The three-time AL MVP broke the club mark of five games in a row with a homer set by Bobby Bonds in 1977.

“It’s pretty cool,” Trout said of the achievement. “I’ve just been preparing myself, trying to get my swing right and not missing pitches. I got some pitches to hit tonight and put a good swing on them.”

Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly and Dale Long share the major league record of eight games in a row with a home run.

Ohtani (12-8) yielded one run on six hits with seven strikeouts until leaving with a blister on his right index finger. He threw the fastest pitch of his career at 101.4 mph in the third inning, according to Statcast.

“I had a little rough first inning, things weren’t going our way, but I was able to fight through that,” Ohtani said through a translator. “Once we got through that inning, momentum was on our side.”

Ohtani said he felt fine and thought he got out of the game before it became more severe.

The right-hander has allowed three runs or fewer in eight straight starts.

“A lot of awesomeness again,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said of Ohtani’s outing. “That two-seamer ridiculous. When you can throw it 100 miles per hour with that kind of movement, you can see the reactions from some of the hitters on their faces.”

As Ohtani was warming up to start the sixth, he motioned to the dugout, and Nevin and a trainer came out to check on him. After conversing for several minutes, Ohtani walked off and was replaced by Jimmy Herget.

“It was more getting him out of there before it opens,” Nevin said. “He’s had them before. He manages his body as well as anybody, and if that thing rips open, it probably puts his next start in jeopardy, so he got out of there before it did that.”

Ohtani remained in to hit to start the seventh, but Jo Adell batted for him in the ninth, which Nevin said he did because he didn’t want to risk anything with a five-run lead. The Angels would check on Ohtani on Sunday to see if he can be the designated hitter in the series finale.

The Angels jumped on Houston starter José Urquidy (13-6) for five runs in the first two innings. He allowed a career high-tying six runs on 10 hits with four strikeouts in five innings.

“They hit some balls hard that were caught early and then they had some soft contact infield hits that started rallies and then the three-run homer by Trout,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said. “He’s the hottest man around. He’s hit homers in six straight games, and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that.”

Taylor Ward, who finished with three hits, had an RBI single in the first. Mike Ford had an RBI double in the fifth and Andrew Velazquez had an RBI groundout as part of the four-run second.

Jose Altuve scored on a single by Yuli Gurriel and an error in the first. Gurriel had three hits.

AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith
Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout hits a three-run home run during the second inning of the team’s baseball game against the Houston Astros, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Houston.