ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani struck out nine over six innings of one-run ball for the Angels, but the San Francisco Giants rallied for seven runs in the 13th inning of a 9-3 victory over Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Steven Duggar had an RBI double in the 12th and a two-run single in the 13th for the Giants, who finally blew it open while the Angels had outfielder Taylor Ward playing catcher and starting pitcher Griffin Canning playing left field as the fallout from an untimely injury to Kurt Suzuki and a series of strategic decisions made to allow Ohtani to hit for himself.
Mike Tauchman struck out five times before hitting a three-run homer to cap the Giants’ 13th-inning rally. Brandon Crawford put San Francisco ahead to stay with a bases-loaded walk from Alex Claudio (1-2), who walked three straight in the 13th.
The 13-inning game matched the longest in the majors since the institution of the runner-on-second-base rule to open extra innings last season.
Dominic Leone (1-0) won despite yielding the tying run in the 12th for the major league-leading Giants, who swept the two-game interleague series with their eighth victory in nine games — long after Ohtani and Kevin Gausman staged a compelling pitchers’ duel.
In his career-high 11th mound start of the year, Ohtani threw a season-high 105 pitches, his most since undergoing Tommy John surgery nearly three years ago. Mike Yastrzemski’s homer in the fifth accounted for San Francisco’s only run off Ohtani.
Alex Dickerson became the first major leaguer to get three hits off Ohtani, but the Japanese superstar issued just one walk and induced 21 swings and misses, the second-most in his major league career, according to Statcast.
Ohtani also batted second but went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts at the plate after beginning the day tied for the major league lead with 23 homers. He has hit for himself in eight of his career-high 11 mound starts this season.
This was the first game in major league history in which the NL team used the designated hitter and the AL team did not.
Angels manager Joe Maddon let Ohtani hit even though leadoff hitter Justin Upton was sidelined by a back injury. That left Los Angeles with just a two-man bench of position players: utilityman Phil Gosselin and catcher Max Stassi, who both pinch-hit before the 12th.
That’s when Maddon’s strategy gamble forced the Angels into several jams: When Suzuki was injured by Duggar’s foul ball off his mask, they had to bring in Ward from left field to be their catcher, while Canning took over in left. Ward performed well at the position he played early in his baseball career, while no balls went to Canning in left.
The Angels even thought they won in the 12th: Juan Lagares drove in José Iglesias with an infield single to tie it, and Lagares thought he beat the tag to score on Luis Rengifo’s grounder moments later. But the umpires reversed their call on video review shortly after Angel Stadium set off its celebratory fireworks.
The Angels have lost three straight after a 9-3 surge.
Gausman yielded four hits with nine strikeouts over seven strong innings for the Giants, trading zeros with Ohtani and lasting an inning longer. Both starters gave up runs only on a pair of solo homers in the fifth.
Yastrzemski connected for his 10th homer of the season, but Ohtani ended San Francisco’s rally by stranding two runners.
The light-hitting Rengifo surprisingly tied it, putting his 10th career homer just into the elevated right field stands.
Giants: INF Wilmer Flores was out of the starting lineup after leaving Tuesday’s game early with hamstring tightness.
Angels: Upton’s lower back tightness isn’t expected to be serious, manager Joe Maddon said.