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Ohtani records #38; Angels defense buckles against the Blue Jays in a 10-2 loss

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Shohei Ohtani crushed his 38th home run to tie the game, but the offense couldn’t catch up against Blue Jays pitcher Alek Manoah.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Los Angeles Angels Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After a doubleheader yesterday with victories split evenly between the two teams, the Angels took the field today with high hopes that Dylan Bundy would show a replay of that controlled defense which earned him a victory against the Texas Rangers in his last start. However, the Halos bullpen floundered as the dugout struggled to find its rhythm at the plate. Despite the star-studded lineup with Shohei Ohtani leading off and Jared Walsh returning from the IL, our Halos left the field with a 10-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, and the team is now 8.5 games back from the second AL Wild Card spot with a .496 record.

Dylan Bundy showed promise early on against Alek Manoah with both pitchers keeping the first two innings scoreless, but despite the strong start, the Halos defense began to falter in the third inning when Bundy gave up 2 solo home runs to Blue Jays first baseman Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and center fielder George Springer. Luckily for Bundy, Jo Adell showed up to play in the bottom of the third inning with a single that welcomed Shohei Ohtani to the plate with an opportunity to tie the game, and Ohtani did just that.

The 27-year-old MVP put the Angels on the scoreboard with his 38th home run - a blast to center field that scored Adell and gave the Angels the chance to play a close game. Both Bundy and Manoah had a 1-2-3 shutout inning in the fourth, but after giving up a double to Gurriel Jr. in the top of the fifth, Joe Maddon pulled Bundy from the mound with 4 IP and a 6.17 ERA. Sam Selman (6.23 ERA) took over, and the defense only went downhill from there, with Selman effectively putting the lineup in a place that they couldn’t come back from.

The fifth inning was the beginning of the end for the Halos. A double by Santiago Espinal scored Gurriel Jr., but the inning was far from over with only one out on the scoreboard. After walking Springer and Marcus Semien and filling the bases, Selman gave up a grand slam to Teoscar Hernández, the first in his career, leaving the Blue Jays with a 7-2 lead.

While Aaron Slegers stepped in as relief in the sixth to shut down a couple more scoreless innings, it was not enough to pick up the offense, which continued to struggle against Alek Manoah, who finished his 11th game with 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB and 11 SO. The Blue Jays defense continued to shut down the Angels offense throughout the night, with Taylor Saucedo (3.78 ERA) and Brad Hand (3.66 ERA) keeping the Halos stalled at two runs until the end.

Phil “the Goose” Gosselin went 0-for-4 at the plate, and Brandon Marsh followed suit with his own 0-for-4 night. Jack Mayfield also left the game with zero hits and the same can be said for Adam Eaton, showing that the lineup was severely lacking in power and competitive swings tonight. Fresh off of the IL, Walsh had a single to CF in the sixth, but he was left on base. In total, the Halos recorded 5 hits for the night.

Max Stassi’s plate appearances were cut short in the bottom of the sixth after a wild pitch by Manoah hit him in the left forearm. Stassi left the game early and although his X-rays turned out negative, Angels PR tweeted that he will be day-to-day.

While fans might have hoped that the Angels defense would pick up in lieu of the cold bats, that was not the case as Slegers gave up three more runs, one of which was a second solo home run for Blue Jays center fielder George Springer, who rounded the bases in the ninth inning to an outcry of angry chants from fans.

The night ended with a rough 10-2 loss for the team, but they’ll be back tomorrow with Ohtani (2.93 ERA) on the mound to face off against Blue Jays pitcher José Berrîos (3.23 ERA). The game starts at 6:38 PM.