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Royals overcome Ohtani’s 2 HRs, 8 RBIs to beat Angels 12-11

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ANAHEIM, California Shohei Otani hit two three-run homers, including a dramatic tie drive in the bottom of the ninth inning. He rode a career-high eight runs, the most by a Japanese-born player in major league history.

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And somehow, his LA Angels were still not enough to defeat the Kansas City Royals.

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Whit Merrifield led the 11th inning with a double RBI and the Royals overcame Otani’s historic performance with a 12–11 victory on Tuesday night.

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Otani crushed a 423-foot homer in the sixth and a tying 438-foot throw in the ninth, giving him the biggest RBI game of his five-year US career. The AL MVP then set a single-game RBI record by a Japanese-born player with a sacrifice in the 11th inning.

Although he never complains publicly, Otani has every right to feel frustrated at his Los Angeles teammates’ lukewarm delivery behind his latest heroism. But the royals knew they had won thanks to some great shots of their own, including iconic games for both. Carlos Santana and newbie Bobby Witt Jr.

“This is one of the most fun games I’ve ever played,” said Witt, who played his first multiplayer game with a career-high four runs. “Just top down, there was a lot of energy. It was an explosion. … Every time Otani or (Mike) Trout comes up to the plate, you hold your breath a little. It’s fun to watch them play and hopefully they don’t do as much damage as they did against us (tonight).”

Otani’s eighth RBI wasn’t enough because Merrifield and Kyle Isbel both moved in Jose Quijada (0-2) earlier in the 11th.

Daniel Mengden eliminated Trout with two Angels on base before Otani’s departure and retired. Jared Walsh in a pop-up window with the end of the game. Mengden earned his first save of the season and the second of his career as Kansas City held on to their fifth win in six games despite dropping a five-point lead in game six and three in game nine.

“Just the energy and the struggle, the way we just kept hitting,” said Kansas City manager Mike Matheny. “We took one and they kept coming back. This is what I love to see. … You see a game like this and it starts to repeat itself.”

Santana had four hits and had five runs for the Royals, who beat the Angels’ staff despite losing the batsman. Salvador Perez to a thumb injury in the third inning. Kansas City was leading 6-1 in the middle of the sixth before the Angels’ star hitters finally kicked in.

Along with Otani’s dominance, Walsh doubled, tripled and hit a home run while driving two runs for the Angels. He almost made it to his second cycle in 11 days.

“It stings,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. “This room hurts. A couple of times you feel like you have it in your hands and you have worked hard to get back into it. We just never got ahead, but a lot of great performances. We were great at swinging bats in some hard to reach places.”

Otani reduced the Angels’ lead to 6–4 when he moved to right center on his 14th homer. Royal family starter Jonathan Heasley served the ball with four strikes in the sixth before Otani’s shot chased him down.

Kansas City then took a 10–7 lead for ninth behind Santana’s late RBI single and Witt’s two-way homer, but Tyler Wade singled out, and Trout left before Otani drove them home, no doubt dashing to the right.

Dylan Coleman (2-1) stuck two Angels runners in 10th.

Santana started his monster game with a double RBI and a two-run homer before adding RBI singles in sixth and eighth. Witt hit a homer in the first inning, added an RBI double off the wall in the seventh, and hit a two-run homer in the ninth.


Walsh received three extra base hits in four innings in the middle of the game, but failed to get hit in two extra bats. On June 11, he finished against the Mets, narrowly missing his first career cycle.


The two Japanese players had previously completed seven runs in the major league game. Tadahito Iguchi did it for the White Sox in 2006, and Hideki Matsui did the same for the Yankees in 2009.


Nevin was thrown out during a pitch change in the seventh inning after a high-profile argument with the umpires. Nevin was angry at the controversial challenge of pitcher Halos. Andrew Wanz earlier in the game.


Royals: Perez injured his thumb during the swing but stayed in the game and completed the attack. Catcher said he will have an MRI on his left thumb on Wednesday and wouldn’t be surprised if he misses a few days. “I hope it’s okay,” Perez said. “I just have to wait.


Otani (5-4, 3.28 ERA) is looking to pick up three straight wins in the series finale against Kansas City. Daniel Lynch (3-6, 5.19). Otani’s only previous start against Kansas City was in his 2018 AL Rookie of the Year season.


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