Shohei Ohtani on Tuesday hit the longest homer of his major league career in the first inning, and the surging Los Angeles Angels pounded a season-high five homers in an 8-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
Ohtani’s 17th homer of the season was a 470-foot (143.25m) shot deep into the outfield bleachers off Kansas City starter Kris Bubic (1-1).
Angels manager Joe Maddon, who first arrived at Angel Stadium in 1994 as a coach, had never seen anything like it.
“That’s the farthest ball I’ve ever seen hit here,” Maddon said. “I’ve never seen one hit there before... It has an impact on that pitcher, I promise you. That kid is pretty good and we roughed him up early.”
Ohtani then added a double in the third inning that had an even higher exit velocity — 181.2kph off the bat, compared to 179.8kph for his homer.
“He can hit the ball pretty hard, pretty far,” said Bubic, who finally struck out Ohtani in the fifth inning with a changeup. “In that third at-bat, I at least executed a little better, got the changeup to where I wanted it. The mistakes I made — there’s a reason he is who he is, and he hit them pretty far.”
Max Stassi, Jose Iglesias and Justin Upton also homered for Los Angeles off Bubic, while Taylor Ward added a two-run shot in the eighth inning as the Angels hit five homers in a game for the first time since 2019.
Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney (4-3) allowed six hits and a run, while pitching into the seventh inning of his third consecutive win and Los Angeles’ 10th victory in 15 games overall.
Los Angeles’ rotation was among the majors’ worst in several statistical categories in the first two months of the season, but its performances are improving as the Halos rack up wins.
“As much as hitting is contagious, starting pitching is contagious, too,” Heaney said after striking out seven in the 100th start of his career. “Just getting guys on a little roll and building off each other, it’s healthy for a starting pitching staff.”
Hanser Alberto had an RBI double in the seventh inning for the Royals, who have lost four straight.
After Stassi delivered a two-run homer for the second straight night in the third inning, Iglesias added a solo shot in the fourth.
Upton followed later in the inning with his fourth homer on the Angels’ six-game homestand, continuing his impressive surge since moving into the leadoff spot for the first time in his major league career late last month.
Upton also has an extra-base hit in five consecutive games.
One night after Jackson Kowar threw three wild pitches and did not get out of the first inning in his major league debut, Bubic gave up four homers — twice as many as he had allowed in his first 34 innings combined this season. Bubic yielded six hits and six runs with two walks over four innings.
“Four homers on changeups that just weren’t able to get down,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “The home run got him. Obviously the walks and putting runners on base didn’t help, but this team can score runs — and they did. The first one just put us on our heels and it was hard to recover from.”
Also on Tuesday, it was:
‧ Giants 9, Rangers 4
‧ Cubs 7, Padres 1
‧ Indians 10, Cardinals 1
‧ Astros 7, Red Sox 1
‧ Dodgers 5, Pirates 3
‧ Athletics 5, Diamondbacks 2
‧ Yankees 8, Twins 4
‧ Orioles 10, Mets 3
‧ Marlins 6, Rockies 2
‧ Rays 3, Nationals 1
‧ Brewers 5, Reds 1
‧ White Sox 6, Blue Jays 1
‧ Braves 9, Phillies 5
‧ Tigers 5, Mariners 3
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Shohei Ohtani on Tuesday hit the longest homer of his major league career in the first inning, and the surging Los Angeles Angels pounded a season-high five homers in an 8-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals. Ohtani’s 17th homer of the season was a 470-foot (143.25m) shot deep into the outfield bleachers off Kansas City starter Kris Bubic (1-1). Angels manager Joe Maddon, who first arrived at Angel Stadium in 1994 as a coach, had never seen anything like it. “That’s the farthest ball I’ve ever seen hit here,” Maddon said. “I’ve never seen one hit there before... It has an impact
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