Sho stunner: Two HRs, career-high 8(!) RBIs

Ohtani fuels Angels' rally before falling short in extras

June 22nd, 2022

ANAHEIM -- It was an incredible performance Tuesday night from two-way star Shohei Ohtani, who hit a pair of three-run homers and set a career-high with eight RBIs, but it simply wasn’t enough for the scuffling Angels.

Ohtani became just the eighth player in Angels history to have eight RBIs in a game, but it came in a 12-11 loss to the Royals in 11 innings at Angel Stadium. It was yet another series defeat for the Angels, who also dropped the opener on Monday.

"There were a lot of emotions going back and forth with the way the game transpired, but it was a great performance from him tonight,” said interim manager Phil Nevin, who was ejected in the seventh inning after arguing about a balk call. “I mentioned it a couple days ago he was so close, his at-bats in Seattle were as close as I had seen him to getting into a groove. And the two he hit, they were big. I mean, they were huge."

Ohtani's eight RBIs were the most by an Angels player since Garret Anderson had a franchise-record 10 RBIs against the Yankees on Aug. 21, 2007. It was also the most RBIs in a game by a Japanese-born player, surpassing seven-RBI games from Hideki Matsui in 2009 and Tadahito Iguchi in 2006. It’s also even more impressive considering Ohtani is slated to start the series finale on the mound on Wednesday.

“That’s a tough one," Ohtani said after the loss through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. "Obviously, the home run at-bats were good, but I feel like I could have done a better job on the two sac fly at-bats. The results could have been different if I came up with big hits there, so that is something I can improve upon.”

Ohtani had a chance to tie the record with another homer in the 11th but had to settle for a sacrifice fly to left. Jared Walsh came to the plate with the chance to hit for the cycle with a single -- he accomplished the feat already once this season on June 11 -- but popped up to end the game.

Ohtani, the reigning American League MVP, helped rescue the Angels when they looked out of the game on two different occasions, and there was no bigger swing than his game-tying blast with one out in the ninth inning. After Tyler Wade reached on a bunt single and Mike Trout walked, Ohtani absolutely obliterated a three-run blast off closer Scott Barlow to tie the game at 10.

Ohtani's shot had an exit velocity of 113.5 mph and went a projected 438 feet to right field. He knew it was gone as soon as he connected, as he took time to admire it before heading around the bases, while Wade threw his hands up in celebration at second base as soon as Ohtani connected on his 15th blast of the year.

"I don't even know where the second one landed,” Nevin said. “The replay couldn't even show that."

Ohtani’s first homer helped wake up the offense in the sixth inning, as the Angels were trailing 6-1 after lefty Reid Detmers mostly struggled, allowing five runs in five innings. But Ohtani got the Angels back in the game by crushing a 2-2 fastball from right-hander Jonathan Heasley, as it left the bat at 111.5 mph and went a projected 423 feet to right-center field, per Statcast. It was his first homer since June 11.

Ohtani also had a sacrifice fly as part of a two-run seventh inning that saw Walsh tie the game with an RBI triple. Walsh was stranded at third base, however, with Luis Rengifo grounding out to end the inning.

The bullpen then struggled, as lefty Aaron Loup gave up a go-ahead RBI single to Carlos Santana in the eighth before right-hander Jimmy Herget served up a two-run shot to Bobby Witt Jr. in the ninth.

But Ohtani came to the rescue with his game-tying homer in the ninth and closer Raisel Iglesias threw a scoreless 10th inning to put the Angels in position to win in the bottom of the 10th. The Angels failed to score and the Royals scored twice in the 11th off lefty José Quijada to hand the Angels the tough-luck loss.

"This one stings a little bit,” Nevin said. “I don't know if I call 11 runs falling short but this one stings. That room is hurting in there. I went in there and walked around to everybody. We feel like this one was in our grasp a couple times and we worked hard to get back in it. It was a tough one."