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Ohtani hits 45th HR while surging Astros rout Angels 10-5

Ohtani hits 45th HR while surging Astros rout Angels 10-5
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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani hit his 45th homer in the eighth inning, but Aledmys Díaz and Kyle Tucker hit back-to-back homers and drove in three runs apiece while leading the Houston Astros to a 10-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.

Ohtani connected for his first homer since Sept. 10, driving a solo shot off Houston’s Cristian Javier 445 feet into the elevated right field stands at the Big A. The two-way superstar has only three homers in September, but he is just one behind Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Kansas City’s Salvador Perez for the major league lead.

With a 116.1 mph exit velocity that resembled his early-season feats, Ohtani also matched Mike Trout’s 45 homers in 2019 for the second-most in Angels history. Troy Glaus hit 47 in 2000.

Jose Altuve hit a two-run homer and Martin Maldonado added a solo shot in another blowout victory at the Big A for the Astros, who routed the Angels 10-0 on Monday. Houston built a 10-1 lead in the sixth inning of the rematch before coasting to its 12th win in 17 meetings with Los Angeles this season.

The Astros’ (90-61) sixth win in seven games overall coupled with the Oakland Athletics’ second straight loss to Seattle trimmed Houston’s magic number for clinching the AL West title to four.

José Urquidy (8-3) pitched six-hit ball into the sixth inning, yielding four runs while staying unbeaten since June.

Phil Gosselin hit a three-run homer and Jack Mayfield had a solo shot for the Angels, who have lost five straight while wrapping up their seventh straight non-playoff season. The Halos had their second consecutive embarrassing pitching performance against the division leaders, giving up up 18 runs in an eight-inning stretch spanning the first two games of this four-game series.

Houston got four hits and four runs off Angels starter Packy Naughton (0-3), who pitched into the fifth inning of his fourth career start.

Tucker hit a two-run homer and Díaz followed with a solo shot off Naughton in the second for the Astros’ 10th back-to-back homers of the season.

Mayfield, the former Astros middle infielder who has got his first regular big-league action this season with Los Angeles, hit his career-best 10th homer of the season on Urquidy’s first pitch of the second.

Houston Astros Martin Maldonado, right, is hugged by Carlos Correa after Maldonado s solo home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif.

But Altuve connected in the fifth for his 29th homer of the season, and Díaz contributed a two-run single. Maldonado added a solo shot during Houston’s three-run sixth for his second homer in two nights at his former home stadium.

Ohtani singled and scored in the sixth when Gosselin chased Urquidy with a three-run homer.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: 3B Alex Bregman got the day off for rest. ... Third base coach Omar Lopez didn’t feel well and took the night off. First base coach Dan Firova moved over to third, and assistant pitching coach Bill Murphy coached first.

Angels: Unless OF Jo Adell (abdominal strain) feels much better fairly soon, he won’t play again this season, manager Joe Maddon said.

UP NEXT

Houston’s Luis Garcia (11-7, 3.37 ERA) looks to extend his AL lead in victories and innings (144 1/3) for a rookie pitcher. He faces fellow rookie Janson Junk (0-1, 2.25 ERA), who will make his third major league start.
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