Royals overcome Ohtani’s 2 HRs, 8 RBIs and beat Angels 12-11

Royals overcome Ohtani’s 2 HRs, 8 RBIs and beat Angels 12-11

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani hit two three-run home runs, including a dramatic tying run in the bottom of the ninth. He racked up eight runs in his career, the most for a Japanese-born player in major league history.

And somehow it still wasn’t enough for his Los Angeles Angels to beat the Kansas City Royals.

Whit Merrifield led off the 11th inning with an RBI-double and the Royals defeated Ohtani’s historic performance for a 12-11 win on Tuesday-evening.

Ohtani crushed a 423-foot homer in the sixth and a 438-foot tying shot in the ninth, earning him the biggest RBI game of his five-year career in the United States. The AL MVP then set the single-game record for RBI’s by a Japanese-born player with a sacrifice fly in the 11th inning.

Though he never complains publicly, Ohtani would be perfectly justified in being frustrated by the lukewarm pitching performance of his Los Angeles teammates behind his latest exploits. But the Royals knew they were winning with some notable hits of their own, including historic games for both Carlos Santana and rookie Bobby Witt Jr.

“That’s one of the most fun games I’ve ever taken part in,” said Witt, who played his first multi-home game while hitting four runs in a career high. “From top to bottom there was a lot of energy going on. It was amazing. … Every time Ohtani or (Mike) Forel comes to the board, you kind of hold your breath there. It’s nice to see them and hopefully they won’t do as much damage as they did to us (tonight).”

Ohtani’s eighth RBI wasn’t enough, as Merrifield and Kyle Isbel both drove in runs off Jose Quijada (0-2) earlier in the 11th.

Daniel Mengden eliminated Trout with two Angels on base for Ohtani’s flyout, and he eliminated Jared Walsh on a game-ending pop-up. Mengden earned his first save of the season and second of his career, as Kansas City held on to its fifth win in six games, despite taking a five-point lead in the sixth and a three-point lead in the ninth.

“Just the energy and the fight, the way we kept hitting,” said Kansas City manager Mike Matheny. “We were going to take one, and they kept coming back. That’s what I like to see. … You see such a game, and it’s one that starts to repeat itself.”

Santana had four basehits and added a season-high five runs for the Royals, who mistreated the Angels staff despite losing slugger Salvador Perez to a thumb injury in the third inning. Kansas City led 6-1 in the middle of the sixth before the Angels’ star hitters finally got going.

Along with Ohtani’s excellence, Walsh doubled, tripled and homered while driving in two runs for the Angels. He was just short of his second cycle in 11 days.

“This one stings,” said Angels interim manager Phil Nevin. “That room hurts there. You feel like it’s gripped you a few times, and you’ve worked hard to get back into it. We just never got the lead, but a lot of great performances. We swung the bats great in some tight spots. †

Ohtani narrowed the Angels deficit to 6-4 when he drove his 14th homer to center right. Royals-starter Jonathan Heasley had thrown a quadruple in the sixth before Ohtani’s shot chased him.

Kansas City then led 10-7 in the bottom of the ninth on Santana’s late RBI single and Witt’s two-run homer, but Tyler Wade singled and Trout walked before Ohtani drove them home with an unquestionable shot to the right.

Dylan Coleman (2-1) stranded two Angels runners in the 10th.

Santana started his monster play with an RBI-double and a two-run homerun before adding RBI basehits in the sixth and eighth. Witt homered in the first inning, added an RBI double from the wall in the seventh and delivered a two-run home run in the ninth.

SHYCYCLE

Halfway through the game, Walsh gave up three extra-base hits in four innings, but was unable to hit in two extra at bats. He finished a single shy to match his first career cycle against the Mets on June 11.

HISTORICAL HITS

Two Japanese players had previously racked up seven runs in a Major League-game. Tadahito Iguchi did it for the White Sox in 2006, and Hideki Matsui matched it for the Yankees in 2009.

NEVIN ASKED

Nevin was ejected during a pitching change in the seventh inning after a loud argument with the umpiring crew. Nevin was upset over a controversial mock call to Halos reliever Andrew Wantz earlier in the match.

TRAINERS ROOM

Royals: Perez injured his thumb while swinging, but stayed in the game and completed his at bat. The catcher said he will have an MRI exam on his left thumb on Wednesday, and he wouldn’t be surprised if he misses a few days. “Hopefully it’s nothing bad,” Perez said. “I just have to wait.”

NEXT ONE

Ohtani (5-4, 3.28 ERA) looks set to rack up three straight hill wins in the series finale against Kansas City’s Daniel Lynch (3-6, 5.19). Ohtani’s only previous pitching start against Kansas City was back in his 2018 AL Rookie of the Year season.

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