Shohei Ohtani Hits 40th Homer after Leaving Mound Early with Cramps in Seattle’s 5-3 Win over Angels

AP Photo / Ryan Sun
Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani hits a single against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023, in Anaheim, Calif.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani left the mound after only four scoreless innings due to cramping in his pitching hand and fingers, but then hit his major league-leading 40th homer before his Los Angeles Angels blew a two-run lead in the ninth inning of a 5-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Thursday night.

Rookie Cade Marlowe hit his first career grand slam in the ninth for the Mariners, who rallied from a two-run deficit against All-Star closer Carlos Estévez (5-2). Marlowe’s second career homer cleared the bases after Estévez walked two and gave up a single in his first blown save for the Angels in 24 opportunities.

Ohtani drilled a 107-mph line drive off Isaiah Campbell (2-0) into the stands in right at Angel Stadium in the eighth inning, securing his second career 40-homer season with the solo shot. The two-way superstar reached base four times and scored the tying run in the sixth for the Angels (57-53), who opened a seven-game homestand with their fifth loss in seven games.

The Angels were two outs from a win before Marlowe, who was playing in his 12th major league game, hit his team’s first grand slam in the ninth inning or later while Seattle was trailing since Richie Sexson did it Sept. 19, 2005, at Toronto.

Eugenio Suárez also homered for the Mariners, who have won seven of nine to move 1 1/2 games ahead of the Angels in the AL wild-card race. Suárez tied a Mariners franchise record with an RBI in his ninth consecutive game.

Ohtani threw only 59 pitches in his shortest start not caused by a rain delay in nearly a full year. The two-way superstar struck out four and allowed only three soft singles in his first start since throwing a one-hit shutout in Detroit for his first major league complete game last week.

Ohtani also had problems with cramps during the Angels’ just-completed trip, leaving consecutive games early with lower-body cramping. He is the frontrunner for his second AL MVP award after winning back-to-back AL Player of the Month awards for June and July.

Ohtani stayed in the game as the Angels’ designated hitter after leaving the mound, and he tied it in the sixth by drawing his second walk, stealing second and scoring on C.J. Cron’s single. Mike Moustakas then drove in Cron with a long double off Seattle rookie Bryan Woo, who allowed four hits and struck out six.

Andrés Muñoz pitched the ninth for his fourth save.

Cron’s single extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games in his Anaheim homecoming game. He rejoined the Angels last week in a trade after spending his first four major league seasons with the Angels.

Cron was acquired from Colorado along with Randal Grichuk, who went 0 for 4 in his Angels home debut 14 years after the team drafted him in the first round, one pick ahead of Mike Trout.


Angels: OF Mike Trout is nearly ready to begin hitting a ball, manager Phil Nevin said. The three-time AL MVP has already taken dry swings in his return from a broken hand that has sidelined him since July 3. He is expected to return shortly after he faces live pitching. … 2B Brandon Drury wants at least two more games at Triple-A Salt Lake before he returns from the left shoulder injury that has kept him out since June 29.


Reid Detmers (2-8, 4.35 ERA) looks to remain unbeaten in his career against the Mariners when he leads the Angels against Luis Castillo (7-7, 2.88) in the second game of the series.