ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani hit his major league-leading 38th home run this season, but the Toronto Blue Jays hit it out of the park four times, including two from George Springer and a grand slam by Teoscar Hernández, to defeat the Los Angeles Angels 10-2 Wednesday night.
Lourdes Gurriel also homered for Toronto, which has won 12 of its last 14 games and is second in the majors with 172 home runs. Rookie Alek Manoah (5-1) struck out 11 and won for the fourth time in his last five starts.
“It wasn’t like we were stretching him out, he was dealing,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said of Manoah. “Today was so huge because our bullpen was thin. We needed something like that.”
Springer extended Toronto’s lead to 2-0 in the third inning with a solo shot to left-center off Dylan Bundy (2-9). He connected again in the ninth for the 17th multihomer game of his career and third this season.
On a night when fans entering Angel Stadium got shirts adorned with Ohtani’s face, the Japanese two-way sensation hit a two-run drive to center field to tie it at 2 in the third inning. It was Ohtani’s first home run since July 28 and only his fifth in 25 games since the All-Star break.
Ohtani’s home run snapped a 13-game home run drought, which was his longest of the season. It was the first time this season he had gone more than eight games between homers.
Manager Joe Maddon put Ohtani in the leadoff spot for the second straight game and is optimistic that he can get going back in the right direction.
“He doesn’t cower easily or get upset. He’s pretty strong willed,” Maddon said. “He knows since the break, and everyone hurt, it was going to be more difficult. I like what he is doing in the leadoff role and am going to keep him there for a little bit.”
Those would be the Angels only runs though as the Blue Jays responded with a five-run fifth to break it open.
Gurriel, who led off the third inning with a solo shot to left, lined a double off the left-field wall to start the fifth and chase Bundy. Gurriel scored the tiebreaking run on Santiago Espinal’s hit.
After Springer and Marcus Semien drew walks, Hernández sent an 0-1 hanging slider from Sam Selman beyond the left-field bullpens and into the stands for his first career grand slam.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who fouled out to the catcher in the previous at-bat, greeted Hernández with the team’s signature home run jacket near the dugout.
Hernández has homered in back-to-back and is seventh in the AL with a .305 batting average, but is often overlooked on a team that includes Springer, Guerrero and Bo Bichette.
“I think it’s funny and that’s so great,” Montoyo said about Hernández not getting his due at times. “He’s an all-star and he keeps doing it when it counts. It has been great. Today that hit was huge.”
Gurriel finished with three hits, including an RBI single in the eighth.
Bundy gave up three runs on four hits in four-plus innings with four strikeouts.
Manoah was the first pitcher in MLB history to give up four hits or fewer in his first 10 starts, but the Angels got five off the rookie right-hander in 6 2/3 innings. His 71 strikeouts are the most by a Blue Jays pitcher in his first 11 games.
“I felt pretty good. I was able to get ahead with the heater and put them away with off speed. I was pretty good attacking the strike zone,” Manoah said.
WELCOME TO THE CLUB
Hernandez is the 84th different player in Blue Jays history to hit a grand slam. It was their fourth of the season.
Blue Jays: RHP Ross Stripling has been placed on the 10-day injured list after suffering a left oblique strain during the nightcap of Tuesday’s doubleheader. … RHP Trent Thornton was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo. … RHP Connor Overton has been selected to the major league roster after RHP Patrick Murphy was designated for assignment.
Angels: C Max Stassi left the game after being hit in the left forearm by a pitch during the sixth inning. The Angels said he is day-to-day. … All-Star INF Jared Walsh was activated off the injured list after missing 15 games due to a right intercostal (chest) strain. … LHP Packy Naughton was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake to make way for Walsh.
RHP Ohtani (6-1, 2.93 ERA) takes the hill in the third matchup between the top two home run hitters in the league. Guerrero Jr. has 35, but has not hit it out of Angel Stadium yet. RHP José Berríos (8-5, 3.23 ERA) is 1-1 against the Angels this season. The prior two matchups were when he was with the Minnesota Twins.
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