ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — In a game that featured five home runs and included another drive by Shohei Ohtani, Josh Naylor and the Cleveland Indians won it with the last blast.
Naylor hit a tiebreaking drive in the eighth inning as the Indians snapped a four-game losing streak Tuesday night with a 6-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
“I knew going into the inning we could change things if we could get one more on the board,” said Naylor, who went 2 for 4 for his sixth multihit game this month. “I went up there and looked for one good pitch to hit. I got one in my zone and hit it out.”
Ohtani hit his major league-leading 14th home run, connecting for the third straight day. But the Angels got bad news earlier in the day when Mike Trout was placed on the injured list with a strained right calf.
The three-time AL MVP is expected to miss six to eight weeks, which would sideline the outfielder through the All-Star break.
“None of us like the idea that Mike is unable to play but you have to move forward quickly. I was really pleased that we were able to fight back,” manager Joe Maddon said. “No lament. This was an interesting night. We lost the game but I liked what I saw.”
Justin Upton and José Iglesias also went deep for Los Angeles.
The Indians jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first but saw the Angels steadily rally and tie it in the seventh. Naylor, though, put Cleveland back on top when he drove a changeup from Alex Claudio (0-1) over the wall in right-center for his fourth homer of the season.
It is the second time Naylor has hit a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning or later. He had a ninth-inning solo shot on May 5 at Kansas City. The Angels’ bullpen has allowed 26 home runs, which is tied for second-most in the majors.
José Ramírez also homered for the Indians. Zach Plesac (4-3) pitched seven innings and allowed five runs on seven hits to get his third win in four May starts. James Karinchak worked the ninth for his fourth save.
Cleveland sent nine batters to the plate in the first and scored five runs in the opening frame for the first time in nearly two years. Ramírez began the scoring with a two-run homer off Andrew Heaney. After Franmil Reyes drew a walk and Eddie Rosario doubled, Angels second baseman Phil Gosselin misplayed Harold Ramirez’s grounder, easily scoring Reyes while Rosario dashed in from second to make it 4-0 with one out.
Ramirez later scored on Yu Chang’s sacrifice fly to give the Indians a five-run advantage before the Angels came to bat.
“It’s a real good recipe for success. We couldn’t separate from them more, but it is a good way to play,” manager Terry Francona said.
Ohtani started the Los Angeles rally with a 440-foot solo shot to center field in the first inning. Ohtani has homered in three straight games for the third time in his career and has gone deep seven times in 13 games against the Indians.
“We were on a standing eight count and it helped get us back on our feet. That ball was properly struck and got us going back in the right direction,” Maddon said.
Ohtani and Anthony Rendon opened the fourth with singles before Upton snapped an 0-for-15 slump when he drove Plesac’s slider just outside the strike zone into the seats in right-center to bring the Angels to 5-4.
Iglesias tied it at 5 when he led off the seventh with a homer to left-center.
Considering he allowed five runs in the first, it might’ve been some consolation for Heaney that he was able to make it to the fourth. The left-hander went three-plus innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits.
Heaney has allowed 10 runs (nine earned) in 8 1/3 innings in his last two starts. He gave up seven runs in 27 2/3 innings in his first five.
Jaime Barria was one of the biggest reasons the Angels were able to rally. The right-hander worked four scoreless innings in relief and allowed only one hit with a walk and a strikeout.
Indians: OF Jordan Luplow will be out of the lineup for a couple of days due to a sprained left ankle, but it is unlikely he will have to go on the injured list. … RHP Jean Carlos Mejía was called up from Triple-A Columbus due to a shortage in bullpen arms. SS Andrés Giménez, acquired when Francisco Lindor was traded to the Mets, was optioned to Columbus.
Angels: OF Juan Lagares was held out after injuring his toe while chasing a home run during Monday’s game. He isn’t expected to be placed on the injured list.
Ohtani (1-0, 2.10 ERA) will make his sixth start of the season Wednesday. The right-hander is the first pitcher in the modern era to record at least 40 strikeouts and allow 11 or fewer hits over his first five starts of a season. Cleveland right-hander Aaron Civale (5-1, 3.40 ERA) faces the Angels for the first time.
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