Shohei Ohtani’s Homer Helps Lift Angels Past Mariners 7-3

AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson
Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani points to the outfield as he runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning during a baseball game April 3, 2023, in Seattle.

SEATTLE (AP) — Shohei Ohtani hit his second home run of the season, Taylor Ward added a two-run shot in the eighth inning and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Seattle Mariners 7-3 on Monday night.

Ohtani drove a 1-1 pitch from George Kirby (0-1) an estimated 431 feet into the right-center field seats in the fifth inning for a 4-2 lead. Ohtani had grounded out in his first two at-bats before the rare home run off Kirby, who surrendered only one long ball during the final three months of last season.

Ward’s homer came off Matt Festa with two outs and after Luis Rengifo had walked on a couple of borderline pitches. Rengifo also was a problem for Seattle with a pair of RBI singles earlier in the game, both scoring Jake Lamb.

Rengifo wasn’t in the original starting lineup but was inserted after Anthony Rendon dropped the appeal of his suspension for an incident last week in Oakland and started serving his four-game punishment on Monday.

Mike Trout was also on base five times with a single, three walks and a hit by pitch.

After losing on opening night, the Angels have won three straight while the Mariners have dropped four in a row after winning their opener.

Eugenio Suárez had an RBI double in the first inning and his RBI single in the fifth pulled Seattle within 4-3. Ty France also had an RBI double for Seattle and stole the first base of his career when he swiped third base in the third inning. Among active players, France had the second-most times on base without a steal and he hadn’t attempted a stolen base since his rookie season of 2019.

Angels starter Reid Detmers was one out shy of getting through the fifth inning and qualifying for the victory. Ryan Tepera (1-0) recorded the final out of the fifth inning to get the victory.


AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson
Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, left, takes off his cap and bows to former Seattle Mariners player and special assistant to the chairman Ichiro Suzuki, second from right, before a baseball game April 3, 2023, in Seattle.

Ohtani and former Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki reconnected before the game. Ohtani was photographed removing his hat and bowing toward Suzuki when the pair spoke before the game. It was their first public interaction since Ohtani and Japan won the World Baseball Classic last month. Suzuki helped Japan to WBC titles in 2006 and 2009.