Shohei Ohtani Allows 4 Homers for the First Time, Still Gets the Victory in Angels’ 8-5 Win

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) reacts as he leaves the field in the middle of the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Anaheim, Calif., on Friday.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani allowed four homers for the first time in his major league career while pitching six-hit ball into the seventh inning and earning the mound victory in the Los Angeles Angels’ 8-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.

Pirates rookie Henry Davis became the first major league player to homer twice off Ohtani. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft had three total hits off Ohtani, while Ji Man Choi and Jack Suwinski also homered in Pittsburgh’s power spree from the fourth to the sixth innings.

Ohtani (8-5) had allowed three homers in three previous starts over his six seasons with for the Angels, but the two-way superstar had never yielded four homers in a single start in the majors or during his years in Japan’s top league.

The Angels bailed out Ohtani with their own homer-happy display: Mike Moustakas hit a three-run shot and Trey Cabbage hit his first major league homer in the fourth before Zach Neto and Taylor Ward homered in the fifth.

Ohtani pitched through his struggles and didn’t leave the game until the seventh inning, allowing five runs on six hits with nine strikeouts. He got a standing ovation amid chants of “M-V-P! M-V-P!” from Angels fans in his final mound start at home before the major league trade deadline Aug. 1.

The Angels have said they’re unlikely to trade Ohtani, particularly if they’re in the playoff race at the deadline. 1. Los Angeles had a 1-10 swoon around the All-Star break, but has won five of six since to keep its fans’ hopes alive.

Ohtani scored two runs while drawing three walks at the plate for the Angels, who have won four in a row.

All-Star closer Carlos Estévez pitched the ninth for his 22nd save.

Mickey Moniak drove in Ohtani with an early double before the Angels’ four homers. The Halos homered in their 19th consecutive game overall, setting a new franchise record by surpassing the 1982 team.

Despite their impressive work against Ohtani, the Pirates opened a six-game Southern California road trip with their sixth loss in seven games since the break.

Johan Oviedo (3-11) yielded five runs on three hits and three walks over four innings.

Ohtani had five strikeouts in the first three innings, but Choi drilled a belt-high cutter into the elevated right field stands for the game’s first run in the fourth. Davis followed three pitches later with his third career homer, blasting an even worse breaking ball to deep left.

Jared Triolo followed the Pirates’ eighth back-to-back homers of the season with a single, but Ohtani recovered and escaped the jam. He then drew a leadoff walk and scored from first on Moniak’s double to the warning track in right.

One batter later, Moustakas delivered his fifth homer in 17 games since joining the Angels.

Later in the inning, Cabbage turned Oviedo’s fastball into a 448-foot homer, the first for the 26-year-old infielder who got his first major league callup one week ago.

Suwinski trimmed the Pirates’ deficit to 5-4 with his 20th homer in the fifth.

Neto led off the Angels’ fifth with the eighth homer of his impressive rookie season. After Ohtani struck out and reached base on a wild pitch, Ward drove him home with his 12th homer.