The Los Angeles Angels got both Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon back on the field on Monday against the Rangers in Texas, and the lineup clicked on all cylinders including and behind Shohei Ohtani in a 9-4 win.
Trout, who missed three games in Houston after getting hit by a pitch on his elbow, returned to the lineup with a vengeance on Monday, with four hits, including a double and two RBI, helping the Angels blow the game open early.
Trout on the season is hitting .426/.539/.820.
One of Trout’s hits, a second-inning single, drove in Ohtani, whose two-run double in the frame helped rescue Ohtani the pitcher.
The first inning on the mound, Ohtani was all over the place, with two walks and a hit by pitch. He also allowed a single in the frame, but the big blow was a three-run home run by Nate Lowe to briefly give the Rangers a 4-1 lead.
By the end of the third it was 7-4 Angels, thanks to back-to-back home runs by Justin Upton and Albert Pujols, for the latter his 667th career homer. Ohtani was in the mix offensively with a walk in addition to his double, plus this bunt single in the sixth.
Ohtani scored three runs.
#Angels Shohei Ohtani is the first American League pitcher to have 2+ hits and 3+ runs scored in a game since Jim Perry for Minnesota on May 1, 1971 at Boston.— Matt Birch (@MattBirch12) April 27, 2021
On the mound, Ohtani allowed almost nothing after the four-run first. He retired 13 in a row until a harmless single in the fifth inning, before striking out Joey Gallo, Ohtani’s ninth strikeout of the game, to end his all-around night.
It was already a history-making night for Ohtani, who entered Monday tied for the major league lead with seven home runs. Per Elias, he was the first player to lead the majors in home runs while starting on the mound since Babe Ruth, who had 19 home runs when he started for the Yankees on June 13, 1921.
Any time you can be the first to do something in 100 years, and/or the first since Babe Ruth, it’s a special night.