Shohei Ohtani Had Four Hits, Astros Beat Angels 9-6

AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani runs up the first base line after hitting a single against the Houston Astros during the ninth inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 3, 2023, in Houston.

HOUSTON (AP) — Alex Bregman hit a grand slam and Chas McCormick homered to help the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Angels 9-6 on Saturday.

The Astros, who have won three straight, broke it open with a five-run fourth, capped by Bregman’s grand slam. Martín Maldonado, Mauricio Dubón and Jeremy Peña loaded the bases on three straight singles before Yordan Alvarez had an RBI infield hit to end Angels starter Patrick Sandoval’s day.

Bregman, who also walked a career-high tying four times, greeted Jacob Webb with his fifth career grand slam that just made it into the first row of the Crawford Boxes to up the lead to 7-1.

“That was like a Barry Bonds day,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said. “That was great. He’s getting on base and setting the table for other guys. Then, he cleaned the table. That one with the slam, I didn’t know how much we were going to need all the runs needed today.”

The homer also extended Bregman’s hitting streak to 10 games.

“I was just trying to get a good pitch to hit,” Bregman said. “I was fortunate to get a good swing on it. It felt good.”

José Abreu had an RBI single in the first, and McCormick hit an RBI double in the third and a solo home run in the seventh. Dubón added a sacrifice fly in the seventh to increase Houston’s lead to 9-5.

Cristian Javier (7-1) yielded one run on six hits with five strikeouts. Javier has won five straight starts, allowing two runs or fewer in each of the starts.

Javier said in Spanish through a translator that he thought his outing was tremendous.

“I think I was able to stay focused the whole outing,” Javier said. “I tried to attack the strike zone as much as I could. I tried to get the hitters out quickly.”

Shohei Ohtani had four hits. He had an RBI triple in the third and an RBI double as part of the four-run seventh. He also scored on a wild pitch in the ninth.

Hunter Renfroe hit a solo home run, Livan Soto scored on a wild pitch and Mike Trout had an RBI single in the seventh as the Angels cut the lead to 7-5. Los Angeles loaded the bases with two outs, but Héctor Neris induced a groundout by Renfroe to end the threat.

“It’s frustrating losing, but good teams, championship teams, they take advantage of mistakes,” Los Angeles manager Phil Nevin said. “They certainly did today. None more glaring than that fourth inning. You end up costing yourself four runs with Bregman’s grand slam after making those mistakes.”

Sandoval (3-5) was tagged for six runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings.

“It’s on me for putting us in such a deep hole,” Sandoval said. “I’m proud of the way that they fought back, but we just couldn’t get out of that hole.”

Sandoval dropped to 0-5 and has allowed 32 runs in 34 1/3 innings over nine career appearances (eight starts) against Houston.