Mon, 02 Aug 2021

Taylor Ward's grand slam carries Angels past Tigers

Field Level Media
18 Jun 2021, 15:05 GMT+10

Taylor Ward's grand slam and six strong innings from Shohei Ohtani lifted the Los Angeles Angels to a 7-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday night in Anaheim, Calif.

Ward's slam was part of a five-run seventh inning for the Angels, opening up a tight game. Both Ohtani and Tigers starter Matt Manning, who was making his major league debut, pitched well before leaving the game in the hands of the bullpens.

The Angels took a 2-1 lead into the seventh, when they loaded the bases with no outs on two singles and an error. Jose Iglesias drove in one run with a single before Ward hit the first pitch he saw from Tigers reliever Kyle Funkhouser over the fence in left-center. It was his first career grand slam and the Angels' second slam of the season.

Meanwhile, Ohtani (3-1) gave up only a solo homer to red-hot Jonathan Schoop in his six innings. He gave up five hits and struck out five, matching a season low. Ohtani, whose fastball reached 100 mph, relied more on his slider Thursday, throwing a career-high 32 sliders.

The Angels took an early lead against Manning, scoring twice in the second inning. Kean Wong doubled with one out and scored on an error by catcher Eric Haase. The second run scored on David Fletcher's two-out single.

That was all Manning (0-1) gave up as he went five innings and allowed two runs on four hits, with three strikeouts and two walks. But it was enough for Ohtani, who kept the Tigers scoreless on three hits through five innings.

In the sixth, Ohtani surrendered a one-out home run to Schoop, his 12th homer of the season, cutting the Angels' lead to 2-1. Ohtani finished the sixth inning but was through for the night, despite making just 78 pitches.

Ohtani got help from his defense along the way, getting one double play as well as a nice relay from Ward in right field to second baseman Luis Rengifo, who threw out Akil Baddoo trying to stretch a double into a triple in the second inning.

Down 7-1, the Tigers scored three runs in the eighth off Angels reliever Mike Mayers to get a little closer, but Raisel Iglesias replaced Mayers and worked out of the jam to keep the lead intact.

Iglesias gave up a run in the ninth but finished it off for his 12th save.

--Field Level Media

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