ANAHEIM, Calif. >> Shohei Ohtani had their early struggles Friday night, yet both played big factors in the Los Angeles Angels extending their winning streak to five games.
Ohtani homered and had three hits, but did not factor in the decision after allowing three runs in five innings, and Moniak hit the go-ahead, two-run homer in the Angels’ 5-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
It was the seventh time, and second this season, the Japanese two-way superstar has homered in a game where he also pitched. Ohtani has also hit safely in the past six games and is 11 for 24 during that stretch.
“I didn’t feel good overall today,” Ohtani said through an interpreter. “My fastball and most of my pitches don’t feel good in the first inning, but I was still able to go through five innings.
“I’m feeling really good at the plate right now but more than that I’m happy the team won.”
It was also Ohtani’s fourth three-hit game this season when he has been on the mound. That is the most by a pitcher since Warren Spahn did it five times for the Milwaukee Braves in 1958.
Moniak struck out his first two at-bats, but got hold of a fastball from Luis Castillo (4-4) with two out in the sixth inning. Anthony Rendon got aboard when he was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning.
Two of Moniak’s five homers this season have ended up being the game-winning hit.
“I got beat by the heater my first two at-bats a little bit and even the first two pitches of that at-bat. In that situation I’m just trying to put the ball in play and put a good swing on it,” Moniak said.
Jacob Webb (1-0) got the win and Carlos Estévez picked up his 17th save.
Jarred Kelenic and Mike Ford homered for the Mariners, who have dropped five of their last six.
Seattle got to 5-4 in the ninth when Ford hit a solo shot to right to lead off the ninth. Ford was 1 for 13 before that homer. Jose Caballero drew a walk and stole second. Estévez though retired the next three hitters with Mike Trout making a running catch on Ty France’s line drive into the right-center field gap to end the game.
“Castillo threw the ball well, but made a couple mistakes. The one to Ohtani early in the game and then at the end of his outing to Moniak. A couple big swings by them turned the tide in the game,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “I thought we were ready to go and got on Ohtani early on. We just couldn’t put a big number up there like we probably needed to.”
Castillo tied a season-high with 10 strikeouts, but fell to 0-3 on the road.
Two of the three hits Ohtani allowed resulted in runs. Kelenic had a two-run homer in the first and France’s base hit made it 3-all in the fifth.
Ohtani struggled in the first. He walked J.P. Crawford, the sixth time in 13 starts this season he has issued a free pass to the leadoff hitter, before Kelenic followed three batters later with a two-run shot to right-center on a sweeper pitch that didn’t break and was low in the strike zone.
Ohtani walked the next two batters before he struck out Eugenio Suárez to end the inning. The 31 pitches he threw in the first were the second-most he has thrown in the opening frame in 76 big-league starts.
Ohtani’s two-run drive to center on an elevated changeup by Castillo in the third inning tied the game. The Angels grabbed a 3-2 advantage in the fourth on Luis Rengifo’s RBI base hit.
“He was trying to backdoor it a little and left it up in the middle (to Kelenic). He misses with one he tried to make sure the next one was better and left it in the same spot,” manager Phil Nevin said. “Then he goes out and hits a two-run homer to put us back in the game. I know his pitch count got up there pretty good and was only able to get through five, but he gave us a chance to win.”
Mariners: RHP Penn Murfee was reinstated off the injured list after missing 29 games due to right elbow inflammation. RHP Matt Festa was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma.
Angels: RHP Ben Joyce left during the sixth inning due to right-hand irritation. … IF Gio Urshela was scratched from the lineup due to lower back tightness.
Mariners: RHP Bryan Woo (0-1, 27.00 ERA) will make his second major league start.
Angels: LHP Patrick Sandoval (3-5, 4.14 ERA) is 0-3 in seven starts against Seattle.