Shohei Ohtani Remains Hot as Angels Defeat Mariners 9-4

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, right, acknowledges first base umpire Mark Ripperger after Ohtani singled during the third inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Sunday, June 11, 2023, in Anaheim, Calif.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Angels rookie Zach Neto made an immediate impact this season with great plays at shortstop. On Sunday, Neto showed he can be a valuable contributor at the plate.

Neto had his first two-homer game as Los Angeles bounced back with a 9-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.

“We all know there’s more power there. I think is going to come later in his career,” manager Phil Nevin said of Neto. “He does something for us to win a game every day, whether it’s with the glove or base running. Today hitting a couple home runs were huge.”

Neto led the way for an Angels’ offense that had 13 hits. Shohei Ohtani kept up a hot June with three hits and Matt Thaiss drove in three runs.

Taylor Ward began the scoring with the third leadoff homer of his career and second this season.

The Halos have won six of seven but have to go on the road this week, beginning with a four-game series against AL West leader Texas.

“Very nice week at home. To beat a team like Seattle and play well against them is a shot in the arm for the whole room going into a tough week,” Nevin said.

Seattle’s Teoscar Hernández had three hits, including a two-run homer in the fourth. Ty France also had three hits and Mike Ford had a solo shot in the fifth for the Mariners, who finished a 2-6 trip.

“Rough road trip. Obviously didn’t play good, clean baseball,” manager Scott Servais said. “Right when I think we’re starting to turn the corner a little bit, you take a step backwards. So frustrating in that regard.”

Neto, the 13th overall pick in last year’s amateur draft, hit a pair of solo shots to double his season home run total to four.

His drive over the left-center wall off Logan Gilbert (4-4) in the second extended the Angels’ lead to 3-0. He also went deep to left in the eighth to make it 8-4.

“Power has always been a big part of my game since I’ve been in college,” Neto said. “I’ll be able to use it to drive balls out of the park or into the gap. I’ll be able to use it as an advantage.”

Ohtani had three hits for the second time in three games and extended his hitting streak to eight games. The two-way Japanese star is batting .381 in June, including a 9 for 23 run during the six-game homestand.

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani swings as he grounds out during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Sunday, June 11, 2023, in Anaheim, Calif.

Thaiss had two run-producing hits — an RBI base hit in a two-run first and a two-run double off the right-field wall in the third. Hunter Renfroe drove in Thaiss with a double for a 6-0 lead.

Griffin Canning (5-2) won for the third time in four starts, striking out seven in five-plus innings.

“He was outstanding. He used all his pitches well. He was in the zone, attacked hitters,” said Thaiss about Canning. “His fastball command, I thought was probably the best I’ve seen so far this year.”


Mike Trout snapped an 0-for-14 skid with a third-inning single. The three-time AL MVP also had a fourth-inning sacrifice fly for a 7-2 lead. He was 3 for 20 on the homestand.

“I thought his swings, his first couple of at-bats (on Sunday) were really good. He fouled balls straight back and was just missing them,” Nevin said. “I think he’s close. And you guys know when it clicks what happens and we’re going to see that soon.”