Two-way star Shohei Ohtani leads Angels to win; snapping franchise-record, 14-game losing streak

The Angels beat the Red Sox on Thursday night in Anaheim, 5-2, to salvage one win in their four-game series against Boston. Shohei Ohtani was the (two-way) star, not surprisingly, and we’ll get to that. First, though, a discussion on what this win means for the Angels. 

They finally won a game. That’s the main takeaway, really, because it had been so long. It was May 24 the last time they won. At the time, they moved to 10 games over .500 and were only one game out of first place in the AL West. Between that win and Thursday night, the Angels lost a franchise-record 14 consecutive games. Manager Joe Maddon was fired. They dropped below .500 and out of playoff position. They entered Thursday 9 1/2 games out of first place. 

Simply, it was possibly a season-ruining losing streak. That fate could be avoided, of course, thanks to a good start to the season and playing well from here on out, but 14 straight losses certainly have the capability to be a difference-maker in the end-of-year standings. Time will tell. 

Here in the near term, we’ll discuss the Angels finally getting over the hump and back in the “W” column. It all starts with Ohtani. 

In seven innings of work on the hill, Ohtani gave up just one run on four hits while striking out six. He was pumping triple digits on the gun with his heater and getting whiffs regularly (he induced 18 swings and misses). He even got a little extra animated in celebration on the mound after the Angels had a lead. 

Speaking of which, the Angels trailed 1-0 going to the bottom of the fifth when Ohtani took matters into his own hands. 

How about that, huh? This was the first time a pitcher hit a go-ahead homer while his team was trailing in the fifth inning or later since current Angels starter Noah Syndergaard did it for the 2016 Mets

Ohtani would get a huge boost in insurance the next inning when Andrew Velazquez hit a three-run shot. It was only the fourth career home run for Velazquez as he was stuck in a 1-for-34 slump. 

The two homers were especially a huge help for Ohtani because his biggest offensive support would usually involve some help from the likes of Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon and Taylor Ward. Rendon and Ward are on the injured list while Trout is day-to-day, so Ohtani just put the team on his back. 

And the Angels have finally won another game. 

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