Ohtani’s 26th homer starts Angels past reeling Yankees 5-3

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Shohei Otani

Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani claps as he crosses the plate after hitting a solo home run on his first at-bat during the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Monday, June 28, 2021, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

NEW YORK (AP) — Shohei Ohtani pounded his hardest-hit home run of the season in another dismal first inning by Michael King, starting the New York Yankees to yet another distressing defeat in a season overflowing with them.

“That definitely sent the message,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said after Los Angeles beat the troubled Yankees 5-3 on Monday night. “It was just the right way for him to start his trip to New York.”

Left-handerJosé Suarez pitched 5 1/3 innings of one-run relief against the heavily right-handed Yankees after Dylan Bundy threw up on the mound because of heat exhaustion.

Ohtani was 0 for 9 in his previous appearances at Yankee Stadium, all three years ago. The two-way sensation connected for a 117.2 mph drive to right on a hanging curveball from King (0-4) in a two-run first that also included Jared Walsh’s RBI double.

The home run was the ninth in 12 games and 26th this season for Ohtani, who is slated to pitch Wednesday night. He tied Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the major league lead, one ahead of San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr.

New York, meanwhile, leads the league in is regrouping.

“We just haven’t showed up every night. A lot of spurts of it, but this game, these seasons, this uniform isn’t about spurts. It’s about showing up every night,” said Giancarlo Stanton, who hit his 14th home run in the sixth. “We’re just collectively as a group not performing the way we should.”

Suarez (3-1) entered in the second after Bundy allowed Gio Urshela’s tying home run and Miguel Andújar’s single. With sweat dripping off the bill of his cap, Bundy stepped back off the mound, bent over and vomited on the 90-degree night.

“He told me even after the first inning he did not feel that good but went out in the second and he knew he might get ill and he did. I mean, this guy is as tough as they come,” Maddon said. “He’s fine right now. Everything’s groovy.”

Suarez allowed two hits, struck out five and walked one in his longest big league outing in two years. He kept the Yankees off balance with 22 fastballs, 22 changeups, nine curveballs and three sinkers.

“He is looking like a major league starting pitcher,” Maddon said.

Steve Cishek pitched a one-hit eighth, and Raisel Iglesias struck out the side for his 14th save in 17 chances, helping Los Angeles win its second straight following a five-game skid.

New York lost three games in Boston last weekend, getting swept for the third time in four weekends, and is on its fourth four-game losing streak this season.

“Our season’s on the line,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before the game. “Too many ups and downs, and we’re in too good a division to have those ups and downs. We can’t afford to play great for two weeks and struggle for a week — not if we’re going to make up ground. We’ve dug ourselves a little bit of a hole in the division. Obviously, the good news is we still are in complete control of the script.”

New York is in danger of falling out of contention before the All-Star break.

“We can throw out all the sayings. Talk is cheap. We got to go do it,” Boone said after the game.

King has a 15.00 ERA in the first inning of six starts and a 1.88 ERA over the rest of his outings.

“I think that I get a little bit too cute in the first inning,” King said. “I try to be a little bit more finesse against those guys, and I think I just need to attack them like I do once I settle in.”

Anthony Rendon doubled with one out in the fifth, Lucas Luetge relieved, and Walsh hit a grounder that bounced off a knee of second baseman DJ LeMahieu for an error. Max Stassi drove in a run with a potential double-play grounder that took a tough hop off the chest of LeMahieu, who threw to first for an out.

Juan Lagares, playing in New York for the first time since leaving the Mets and signing with the Angels as a free agent, homered for a 4-2 lead in the sixth, and José Iglesias hit an RBI double in the eighth against Chad Green.

Gary Sánchez hit an RBI grounde r in the first at the Yankees went 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position.

King said Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Gerrit Cole, Zack Britton, Luke Voit and Darren O’Day lead the clubhouse conversations aimed at sparking a turnaround.

“It’s going to be challenging,” Boone said, “but the history of the game is littered with teams that have overcome far bigger deficits than us.”

DEBUT

Jasson Dominguez, signed in July 2019 for $5.1 million, made his pro debut for the Florida Complex League Yankees against the FCL Tigers. The 18-year-old hit leadoff and played center field, going 0 for 2 with a strikeout and foul popup to third against 21-year-old Australian LHP Jack O’Loughlin and walking against 20-year-old Dominican RHP Wilmer Fenelon.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Angels: OF Mike Trout (strained right calf) was transferred to the 60-day IL, ruling out his return until July 17, when the Angels host Seattle in their second game after the break. Los Angeles optioned INF Kean Wong to Triple-A Salt Lake and selected the contract of OF Scott Schebler from Triple-A Salt Lake.

Yankees: RHP Darren O’Day (out since April 29 with strained left rotator cuff) and LHP Justin Wilson (out since May 28 with strained right hamstring) are likely to activated Tuesday. … LHP Zack Britton (left hamstring strain) had an MRI.

UP NEXT

RHP Jameson Taillon (2-4, 5.18) starts Tuesday night against Angels LHP Andrew Heaney (4-5, 4.72 ERA).

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