TOP News

Sports: Ohtani homers again, Syndergaard pitches Angels past Rangers

Top prospect Julio Rodriguez on making the Mariners roster: 'I'm ready to go.'

  Top prospect Julio Rodriguez on making the Mariners roster: 'I'm ready to go.' Officially making the jump from Class AA to the majors, power-hitting outfielder Julio Rodriguez already showing he's "a special, special talent."“Daddy,’’ he said, “I did it.

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Shohei Ohtani hit his third home run in two games, Noah Syndergaard won a matchup of local pitchers and the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Texas Rangers 7-2 on Saturday night.

  Ohtani homers again, Syndergaard pitches Angels past Rangers © Provided by The Canadian Press

The game featured two starters from opposite sides of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in Syndergaard and Rangers lefty Taylor Hearn. It also became the latest showcase for Ohtani, the two-way superstar who won the AL MVP award last year.

Syndergaard (2-0) allowed two runs and five hits over six innings. Hearn gave up three runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Both threw 82 pitches, but Syndergaard was more economical. He needed just five pitches to get through the first inning and did not walk anybody. The right-hander retired his last 10 batters after giving up two runs in the third.

Valdez bests Ohtani, Astros top Angels 3-1 for opener record

  Valdez bests Ohtani, Astros top Angels 3-1 for opener record ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani was outstanding for five innings on the mound, and he looked dangerous all night at the plate. Framber Valdez and his Houston Astros were just a bit better everywhere while extending a remarkable decade of opening day dominance. Valdez outpitched Ohtani with 6 2/3 innings of two-hit ball, and the Astros tied the longest opening day winning streak in major league history with a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night. Alex Bregman had an early RBI single and a late homer as the Astros won their 10th straight season opener.

“I loved the efficiency,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “With all of his pitches, he was getting ahead of hitters. He could have gone seven innings for sure.”

Syndergaard agreed, but he was content with six.

“I still felt pretty strong. My body feels real good, but I'm two years off from surgery,” he said. "(Catcher Max) Stassi and I had a real good vibe going on."

Ohtani finished 2 for 5 with a two-run homer into the Rangers' bullpen in right-center. He scored three runs and drove in three more.

“I wasn’t sure if it was going to clear the wall but I am glad it did,” Ohtani told members of the Japanese media.

The eighth-inning homer increased Los Angeles' lead from 4-2 to 6-2.

“His home run was a big at-bat at the time, getting the extra runs,” Maddon said.

Islanders forward Casey Cizikas to have hearing for boarding

  Islanders forward Casey Cizikas to have hearing for boarding The NHL Department of Player Safety announced that New York Islanders forward Casey Cizikas will have a hearing for boarding Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brendan Smith. © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas. Cizikas laid the hit on Smith in the first minute of the third period of Friday night’s game. He was assessed a two-minute minor for boarding on the play. Smith left the game after the hit and did not return. Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour did not have an update on his status postgame.

The Angels peppered Hearn (0-1) in the third inning. Four batters singled and sent teammates to third base, beginning with Tyler Wade's infield hit and a throwing error by second baseman Marcus Semien that sent Andrew Velazquez to third.

Stassi's single scored Mike Trout and sent Taylor Ward to third. Ohtani and Anthony Rendon each had an RBI in the inning.

Ward, coming off the injured list for his first game this season, went 2 for 3 with a solo home run in the ninth. He also walked twice and stole a base.

Texas scored against Syndergaard on Semien's run-scoring double and a groundout by Corey Seager. Syndergaard then struck out Adolis Garcia, gave up an infield hit and ended the inning with a groundout by Willie Calhoun.

“I struggled in the third,” Syndergaard said, “but I was able to get out without more damage.”

He pitched just two innings over the past two seasons following Tommy John surgery in March 2020.

Nightengale's Notebook: New Red Sox signing Trevor Story 'can't wait' to play in AL East gauntlet

  Nightengale's Notebook: New Red Sox signing Trevor Story 'can't wait' to play in AL East gauntlet The 29-year-old is moving to second base for his new team, a whirlwind month that saw Story thrust right into baseball's greatest rivalry.Trevor Story went hitless in five at-bats, struck out with a chance to be a hero in the 11th inning, and the Boston Red lost the game, 6-5, to the New York Yankees in front of a sellout crowd at Yankee Stadium.

“I don't have triple-digit stuff yet," Syndergaard said. “It's my first year back. I want to focus on pitching and not so much on throwing hard. I do want to get that hundo (100 mph) going again.”

The Rangers' beleaguered bullpen gave up four runs in the last three innings.

TEXAS TWO-STEP

Syndergaard said of Hearn: “I know he's local. We have the same agency. I know he's got way more riding on a horse.”

He was referring to Hearn's family background in rodeo.

“I've only been on a horse three or four times, which is bad considering that my dad's a horse trainer,” Syndergaard said.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Angels: Ward (strained left groin) was reinstated from the 10-day injured list and played right field, batting cleanup. He filled a roster opening created Friday, when INF Jose Rojas was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake.

Rangers: RHP Josh Sborz (right elbow soreness) went on the 10-day IL, a day after allowing a two-run homer to Jared Walsh. Taking Sborz's place on the roster was LHP Matt Moore, who last pitched for Texas in 2018. Moore pitched two innings Saturday and gave up one run.

MLB overreactions: Five significant (or not!) takeaways from opening weekend

  MLB overreactions: Five significant (or not!) takeaways from opening weekend With just three or four games down and six months remaining, it’s premature but harmless to kick around what mattered most from the opening weekend.Nonetheless, the four glorious days that marked the return of Major League Baseball still offered its viewers myriad chances to freak out over suboptimal performance or conflate a nice couple of games with greatness.

Moore gets a one-year contract paying $2.5 million while in the major leagues. He can earn $400,000 in performance bonuses for innings up to 175 and $600,000 for starts up to 30.

WORDS FROM THE BOSS

Angels general manager Perry Minasian supported Maddon’s decision to walk Seager intentionally with the bases loaded during Friday’s game. “He’s got a pretty good track record,” Minasian said.

Research by members of the Society for American Baseball Research found just seven occurrences of bases-loaded intentional walks going back to Adner Dalrymple of the Chicago White Stockings in 1881.

Minasian was asked whether he had had discussions with Ohtani’s representatives on a contract extension. The GM smiled and said, “That’s an everyday question. Catch me on the right day.”

NOT GONE WITH THE WIND

For the second night in a row, the Globe Life Field roof was open. In contrast to Friday, when the Angels hit five home runs with a breeze from the south, on Saturday there were just two homers with a chill northerly wind blowing across home plate at 14 mph.

50TH ANNIVERSARY

On April 16, 1972, manager Ted Williams’ first-year Texas Rangers won for the first time in their second game since moving from Washington. Pete Broberg was the winning pitcher, and Lenny Randle and Frank Howard each had two hits and an RBI.

UP NEXT

Angels: LHP Jose Suarez (0-1, 4.15 ERA) is scheduled to pitch Sunday in the finale of the four-game series.

Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (0-1, 6.75) gets the ball as Texas wraps up a seven-game homestand.

___

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Lary Bump, The Associated Press

Abreu, Hendriks help White Sox hold off Rays 3-2 .
CHICAGO (AP) — José Abreu homered for the first time this season, closer Liam Hendriks left the bases loaded in the ninth inning and the Chicago White Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 Saturday. Michael Kopech threw five solid innings, and Yasmani Grandal singled away from the shift to put Chicago ahead in the sixth. Eloy Jiménez and Tim Anderson added two hits apiece for the White Sox, who have won six of seven and are off to a 6-2 start for the first time since 2016 despite several key injuries. Hendriks struck out Taylor Walls in the ninth for his fourth save after intentionally walking pinch-hitter Ji-Man Choi to load the bases.

See also