Ohtani’s 9th Inning Home Run Sets Stage for Angels’ 10th Inning Victory Over Astros, 13-12

by Ethan Kim
Angels' comeback victory

Following an uphill battle, the Los Angeles Angels managed to overturn a six-run shortfall in the seventh inning, along with a three-run deficit in the ninth, before securing a 10th inning triumph owing to an unexpected error from the Astros.

The Angels must now be wishing for a less exhausting win, subsequent to the arduous 13-12 victory that ended their series of six consecutive defeats on Saturday night.

Shohei Ohtani led the charge in the Angels’ ninth-inning comeback with his 33rd homer – the most in the major league, while the Angels’ 10th inning score came as a result of a throwing error from Astros’ rookie shortstop Grae Kessinger, allowing rookie Trey Cabbage to score.

Kessinger’s off-target throw to first base while trying to execute a simple inning-ending double play on Taylor Ward’s grounder led to Cabbage’s score in only his second major league game. This sparked off an ecstatic celebration for the Angels, marking their second win in 12 games in an unpredictable manner.

Angels’ manager Phil Nevin didn’t mince words on the importance of this victory, calling it a crucial win.

The unfortunate error occurred after Kessinger was brought on to the field in the 10th inning following an injury to starting shortstop Jeremy Peña. Astros’ starter Framber Valdez was also forced to leave the game in the seventh due to a suspected calf injury. However, Astros’ manager Dusty Baker expressed optimism that both injuries were merely muscle cramps.

Baker shared his disappointment at the outcome, remarking, “You just hate to end the game like that. Just a bad, bad loss for us.”

The AL West rivals saw a combined total of 18 runs in the final four innings, with the Houston bullpen collapsing under the pressure, yielding eight hits and eight runs – six of them earned.

In the seventh inning, the Angels levelled the score at 9-9 thanks to Mike Moustakas’ dramatic three-run homer. However, the Astros swiftly regained the lead with Chas McCormick’s two-run homer in the eighth, and Yainer Diaz’s RBI single in the ninth, making the score 12-9.

Astros’ star closer Ryan Pressly had not conceded a hit since June 15, but Ohtani’s 404-foot leadoff shot to center started the three-run turnaround. Hunter Renfroe’s RBI single tied it in the ninth, and though Pressly managed to strand two Angels in scoring position, the damage was done.

Speaking on the victory, Moustakas said, “A lot happened throughout that game, and we found a way to come back and win. That shows we can do it. Fantastic team win.”

In the decisive 10th inning, Angels’ All-Star closer Carlos Estevez (3-1) pitched a scoreless inning, while Phil Maton (2-3) lost without allowing a hit.

During the Astros’ five-run seventh inning, José Abreu hit a three-run homer, but the Angels answered back with a larger rally featuring rookie Zach Neto’s two-run homer.

Neto struck a blow off Valdez, who left abruptly with the trainer following this, during Ohtani’s at-bat. Valdez’s exit was despite a match performance equalling his career high of 13 strikeouts. However, he had also given up seven hits and five runs on 103 pitches.

For the Astros, Kyle Tucker was responsible for bringing in three runs.

Angels’ Reid Detmers conceded four runs on five hits and three walks over six innings.

In other news, Angels’ Luis Rengifo hit his second homer since June 7 during the second inning. Rengifo had previously been withdrawn from Friday’s loss due to not hustling after the ball following an error, a mistake for which he took responsibility.

As for upcoming games, the series finale on Sunday will see Houston’s Cristian Javier (7-1, 4.34 ERA) looking for his first victory in six starts against the Angels’ Tyler Anderson (4-2, 5.25 ERA).

For more MLB updates, visit: https://bigbignews.net/MLB and follow AP Sports on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AP_Sports.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Angels’ comeback victory

Who was the key player in the Angels’ ninth-inning rally?

Shohei Ohtani was the key player, hitting his major league-leading 33rd homer to key the Angels’ ninth-inning rally.

How did the Angels secure their 10th inning victory over the Astros?

The Angels’ 10th inning score came as a result of a throwing error from Astros’ rookie shortstop Grae Kessinger, allowing rookie Trey Cabbage to score.

What were the significant injuries during the game?

Starting shortstop Jeremy Peña suffered a right hamstring injury, while Astros’ starter Framber Valdez left the game with an apparent left calf injury. Both injuries are hoped to be just cramps.

How many runs did the AL West rivals combine for in the final four innings?

The AL West rivals combined for 18 runs in the final four innings.

Who was the losing pitcher for the Astros?

Phil Maton (2-3) was the losing pitcher for the Astros without allowing a hit.

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PitchPerfect July 16, 2023 - 8:29 am

can’t believe Pressly gave up his first hit since June 15, talk about bad timing…

GrandSlamSam July 17, 2023 - 5:05 am

The bullpen imploding was a real bummer, but Valdez struck out 13!! Mixed feelings about this one.


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