ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Shohei Ohtani took another sweet swing and went deep again for the Los Angeles Angels.
After tying the game with a solo homer in the seventh, Ohtani went the opposite way for a two-run shot leading off the 12th inning to give the Angels their first lead as they rallied to beat the AL West-leading Texas Rangers 9-6 on Monday night.
“I saw the ball really well and the results came with it,” Ohtani said through his translator.
Ohtani hit the first pitch of the 12th off Cole Ragans (2-3) over the left-field wall. It was Ohtani's eighth homer in 13 games, and his 20th of the season to overtake Aaron Judge for the American League lead. It was his 10th career multihomer game, the second in his recent surge.
“He's on a nice little streak. It's fun to watch,” manager Phil Nevin said. “I see him having a lot of fun. ... His emotion is showing."
The two-way star, who was the DH in the series opener and is scheduled to pitch the finale Thursday, spread out both of his arms while rounding second base and looking into the Angels dugout after his 12th-inning drive.
Chad Wallach then added another two-run homer for the Angels (37-31), who have won seven of eight games and are a season-best six games over .500. They are still third in the AL West, 5 1/2 games behind Texas.
Los Angeles was down 5-1 after three innings, but Ohtani's homer in the seventh extended his hitting streak to a season-best nine games and tied it at 5-5.
Ohtani finished with four RBIs, pushing his season total to 50. He also had a sacrifice fly in the Angels’ three-run fifth, when the other runs came in on a throwing error and a wild pitch.
Rookie right-hander Sam Bachman (1-0) worked two scoreless innings for his first big league victory. Aaron Loup allowed an unearned run in the bottom of the 12th.
Ezequiel Duran hit a three-run homer in the second inning for the Rangers (41-24), who have lost three of four. They dropped two of three over the weekend in Tampa Bay in a matchup of the teams with the two best records in baseball.
Los Angeles needed a pair of standout of defensive plays to get out of the 10th inning.
“The only thing you can do when you have runners in scoring position is hit the ball hard, and we did that,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “They made some nice plays we just couldn’t get one to fall in for us.”
Runners were at second and third with LA's infield playing in when second baseman Luis Rengifo fielded Leody Taveras’ short-hopper and threw home to get out Josh Smith. There was then hard grounder to shortstop Zach Neto, who initially dropped it before recovering with a strong throw and an impressive pick by just-in first baseman Taylor Ward to retire Marcus Semien at first for the third out.
Ward, in his sixth big league season, had played only two innings at first base in his previous 355 games, and that was three years ago. He moved from left field to first base when the Angels had to shuffle their lineup after Brando Drury got ejected in the top of the 10th for arguing a called third strike.
“I think I just kind of closed my eyes and stuck my glove out right there ... Good thing it worked out," Ward said.
“The pick was phenomenal. And that’s not an easy pick, as hard as Neto had to get rid of that ball to save the run,” Nevin said. “Obviously that gets by, it’s the end of the game.”
SHORT HOPS Mike Trout had an RBI single in the Angels third, but Texas extended the lead to 5-1 in the bottom of that inning on an RBI single by Josh Jung before he scored on Mitch Garver’s double. ... Will Smith, the usual Rangers closer, retired all six batters he faced in his two innings. That included striking out Ohtani on four pitches and getting Trout on a routine flyball to start the ninth.
NETO IN THE NET
Angels SS Zach Neto made a spectacular leaping catch in foul territory to start the Texas sixth. He ran a long way to catch Garver's foul pop, and held on as he went into the railing and netting protecting a field-level seating area beyond the visiting dugout.
Angels: INF Gio Urshela was out of the start lineup for the third time in four games because of back soreness, but entered the game in the 10th inning.
Rangers: RHP Jon Gray, who is coming off a complete-game 100-pitch loss last Wednesday, will miss his scheduled start Tuesday while dealing with a blister. Gray is 5-1 with a 0.84 ERA in his last six starts. ... DeGrom had reconstructive surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow Monday.
Angels right-hander Jaime Barria (2-2, 1.85 ERA) has allowed only four earned runs over 35 1/3 innings (1.02 ERA) since April 8.
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