Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels look to continue swinging hot bats on Friday night when the team opens a three-game series against the host Cleveland Indians.
Ohtani recorded his third multi-hit performance in his last six games on Thursday as the Angels overcame an eight-run deficit in a 13-10 victory over the Detroit Tigers. The Japanese two-way star has three homers, six RBIs and seven runs scored in his last 10 contests.
Ohtani went 4-for-9 with two homers, four RBIs and four runs scored against Cleveland earlier this season. The Indians won two of those three games, however.
Los Angeles rookie Brandon Marsh highlighted his three-hit performance on Thursday with pair of triples.
“The hair flying … it’s like watching Fabio hit a triple,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said of Marsh, who is batting .419 (13-for-31) with four extra-base hits, four RBIs and four runs scored over his last eight games.
The Angels answered a four-game stretch in which they scored seven runs by erupting for 24 in a three-game sweep of the Tigers. Thursday’s rally from an eight-run deficit matched the largest comeback victory in franchise history, which was previously set against the Tigers on Aug. 29, 1986.
“They never let up,” Maddon said. “They never let down.”
Cleveland opens a nine-game homestand looking to find its footing after losing six of its previous nine contests. The Indians dropped an 8-7 decision in 11 innings to the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.
“You think of a positive … we went 3-3 on the (road trip),” Cleveland acting manager DeMarlo Hale said. “I hope going forward that we can come out on top of these kind of games just so we respond to certain situations that come up.”
Jose Ramirez, who belted his team-leading 27th homer on Wednesday, is 9-for-28 with two homers, seven RBIs and four runs scored during his six-game hitting streak. He went 3-for-10 with a homer, three RBIs and three run scored in the previous series against the Angels.
Angels right-hander Jaime Barria (2-1, 4.71 ERA) will look to keep Ramirez in check when he takes the mound on Friday night.
Barria, 25, is bidding to bounce back after sustaining his first loss of the season. He allowed three runs on seven hits in three innings of an 8-2 setback against the Houston Astros on Saturday.
Barria pitched well in his previous encounter against Cleveland, permitting one hit over four scoreless innings in a relief appearance on May 18. He is 0-1 with a 4.26 ERA in three career appearances (two starts) versus the Indians.
Cleveland will turn to left-hander Sam Hentges (1-4, 7.95) to start the series opener on Friday night.
Hentges, 25, allowed three runs on four hits in two innings of a no-decision against the Tigers on Saturday. He was blitzed by the Angels on May 17, permitting six runs on five hits — including a three-run homer to Ohtani — with three walks in 1 2/3 innings of a 7-4 loss.
–Field Level Media