Angels win 2-1, drop Mariners in wild-card standings

Shohei Ohtani threw seven scoreless innings, drove in one run and scored another as the Angels beat Seattle 2-1 and edged out the Mariners in the wild card standings.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani threw seven scoreless innings, drove in one run and scored another as the Los Angeles Angels beat Seattle 2-1 on Saturday night, dropping the Mariners in the wild card standings.

The Mariners went in the four-game streak to take the top spot in the AL wildcard chase but are now two games behind Toronto and a half game behind Tampa Bay. Seattle holds the final wildcard spot, five games ahead of Baltimore.

The Angels’ second straight win over the Mariners came on the back of their two-way MVP candidate as Ohtani reached base twice in three at-bats, drove on his 89th run and ran his ERA in 148 total innings 2.43 lowered.

“I don’t like to criticize myself in any way,” Ohtani said through an interpreter while in the middle of an MVP chase with the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge. “One thing I could say overall is, in terms of balance, I’m having a better season this year than last year.”

A day after the teams hit seven home runs combined, Ohtani and Mariners starter George Kirby didn’t allow a long ball. Seattle’s Taylor Trammell hit a home run in the eighth inning ahead of Jaime Barria, his fourth.

Ohtani gave the Angels a 1-0 lead in the first inning when he followed up Mike Trout’s single with a double off the left field wall. Trout scored when rebound Mariners left fielder Jesse Winker escaped.

Ohtani helped make it 2-0 in the fourth inning when he worked off a leadoff walk against Kirby, advanced to third with a single and a wild pitch, and then scored on a Matt Duffy ground-out.

On the hill, Ohtani (13-8) was barely threatened, allowing a Seattle runner to reach second base. He gave up three hits with a walk and eight strikeouts, his most in three starts this month. Ohtani now has 196 strikeouts in the season.

“I’ve said it before, he’s the most valuable player in our game right now,” said Angels interim manager Phil Nevin, who as a former Yankees coach has a unique perspective on the MVP hunt. “Until someone can come in and do the things that they’re doing on both sides, I don’t see any other way. I love Aaron Judge like a son, but I’ll keep saying it: (Ohtani) can take over a baseball game like nobody else.”

After Barria allowed an eighth run for Los Angeles, Aaron Loup threw the ninth for his first save.

Kirby (7-4) gave up two runs and four hits over six innings with one walk and eight strikeouts.

“I thought it was a good outing. I could do something better,” Kirby said. “I didn’t have too much feel for my slider tonight, but I was pretty good at fastball for the most part, minus one step. I just have to go to the next one.”

Despite already securing a losing record this season, the Angels improved to 9-8 against the Mariners.


Mariners: OF Julio Rodriguez was scraped off the starting lineup with lower back tension. … 3B Eugenio Suarez was placed on the 10-day injured list with a broken right index finger, while INF/OF Dylan Moore (oblique) was reinstated from the IL. Suarez is set to see a specialist in Arizona next week, with a return this season not ruled out. … C Cal Raleigh was on the starting lineup after receiving treatment for a thumb injury on Thursday and Friday. … OF Mitch Haniger (back) was not in the starting XI for the fourth time in a row.

Angels: INF David Fletcher was placed on the 10-day IL with a bruised right hand while INF Livan Soto had bought his contract from Triple-A Salt Lake. INF Andrew Velasquez, ruled out for the season this week with a torn meniscus in his right knee, has been placed on the 60-day IL.


Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (10-13, 3.89 ERA) hit a season-high with seven batters in his last encounter with the Angels on Aug. 7.

Angels: LHP Reid Detmers (5-5, 3.82) has had 65 strikeouts in 55 innings since returning from Triple-A Salt Lake on July 8. Angels win 2-1, drop Mariners in wild-card standings

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