• Baseball

Shohei Ohtani Homers, Trout Comes Up Big in Angels’ 7-4 Win over Cubs

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17) watches his home run against the Chicago Cubs during the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 6, 2023, in Anaheim, Calif.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mike Trout and Matt Thaiss delivered two-run singles during the Angels’ five-run fifth inning, and Shohei Ohtani hit his 16th homer in Los Angeles’ 7-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.

Taylor Ward also homered for the Halos, who opened their six-game homestand by overcoming an early 4-0 deficit and matching their biggest comeback of the season to begin the Cubs’ first visit to Angel Stadium since 2016.

“I thought our at-bats were a lot better tonight,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “It’s a contagious thing. You keep passing the baton.”

Ohtani’s fourth-inning solo homer was the Angels’ first hit, but the umpires didn’t immediately realize his blast had cleared the yellow line on the right-field fence, forcing Ohtani to sprint to third.

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani hits a home run against the Chicago Cubs during the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 6, 2023, in Anaheim, Calif.

Mike Tauchman had a two-run single and Matt Mervis followed with a two-run double in the second inning for the Cubs, who have lost four of six. Chicago is 2-3 on its 10-game California road trip.

Tyler Anderson (3-1) overcame that rough second inning to pitch five innings of five-hit ball for the Angels, walking three and striking out five.

“My thought process is still the same, (but) I just feel like I’ve kind of been pitching timid in general,” said Anderson, who has a 5.88 ERA at home this season. “Probably because I’ve been struggling with my mechanics. I worry more about executing and less about attacking.”

Chris Devenski escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the seventh before striking out the side in the eighth. Carlos Estévez allowed two singles in the ninth, but struck out Seiya Suzuki to finish his 15th save.

Hayden Wesneski yielded two hits and two earned runs while pitching into the fifth inning of his first start since May 13 for Chicago. The right-hander briefly went to the minors last month after struggling to a 5.03 ERA in the rotation, but he’ll likely get at least one more start for the Cubs while Justin Steele recovers from his left forearm strain.

“He threw the ball really well,” Chicago manager David Ross said of Wesneski. “We just didn’t play the best defense behind him, and some things went awry.”

Anthony Rendon went 0 for 2 with a walk on his 33rd birthday while playing his first game since May 13, coming out in the sixth inning as the Angels ease him back into the lineup.

Five of the Cubs’ first six batters in the second reached base, with Tauchman and Mervis providing the big hits to put Chicago up 4-0.

The Angels loaded the bases in the fifth when Mervis botched a likely double-play grounder to first by Luis Rengifo, and Brandon Drury scored moments later on a wild pitch. Brandon Hughes (0-3) walked Ohtani to load the bases again before Trout dumped his tying single into center.

Thaiss then drove in Ohtani and Trout with a single off the glove of leaping shortstop Dansby Swanson.

Chicago loaded the bases in the seventh, but Yan Gomes lined into a 6-4 double play on Devenski’s first pitch.

“Offensively, we just weren’t able to tack on,” Ross said. “We had opportunities, (but) the fifth inning, for me, was kind of the game-changer.”

Ward hit his seventh homer in the seventh for Los Angeles.

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, left, and Chicago Cubs’ Seiya Suzuki shake hands before a baseball game Tuesday, June 6, 2023, in Anaheim, Calif.