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Ohtani hits 37th homer as Angels rally to defeat Rockies 8-7

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Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani reacts to a pitch in the fourth inning of the team's baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/John McCoy)

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Shohei Ohtani continued his power display Wednesday, crushing a three-run home run, and Phil Gosselin had a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning for the Los Angeles Angels, who rallied for an 8-7 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

The Angels trailed early but used a five-run fourth inning to jump ahead 6-3 and added another run in the fifth for a 7-3 advantage. The Rockies rallied with three runs in the seventh and another in the eighth to tie the game at 7-all, but Gosselin’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth scored David Fletcher to set the final margin.

Angels closer Raisel Iglesias (7-4) blew a save opportunity for the fifth time when he gave up a game-tying RBI single to Brendan Rodgers in the top of the eighth. He still earned the victory by recording five outs.

The Angels won for the fifth time in their last seven games as Wednesday’s victory came without three of their better offensive performers in Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon and Jared Walsh, who are all on the injured list.

“It’s interesting, it’s wonderful and when we get the whole band back together it’s gonna be fun to watch,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “(Ohtani) is definitely inspirational to the whole group.”

Ohtani’s line-drive blast to right field off Rockies reliever Jesus Tenoco was his MLB-leading 37th of the season and his third in the last four games, including consecutive contests against the Rockies. It gave the Angels a 4-3 lead in the fourth.

Justin Upton and Max Stassi also hit home runs for the Angels, who have won consecutive series and five of their last seven games. Los Angeles starter Andrew Heaney gave up three runs on four hits over six innings with three walks and eight strikeouts.

Trailing 7-3, the Rockies rallied with three runs in the seventh inning on a two-run double from Raimel Tapia, while Tapia scored on a Fletcher throwing error when the Angels failed to turn a double play.

Tapia had three hits for Colorado, while Trevor Story had a two-run home run in the first inning. Playing amid constant rumors as the trade deadline approaches, Story hit his 13th home run of the season, two days after he was hit on the back of the left-hand by a 97-mph fastball from Ohtani.

“I felt real good tonight after I made adjustments in the batting cage,” Tapia said through a team translator. “Luckily there were some adjustments out there and I felt great.”

Tinoco gave up five runs on five hits and one walk in 1 1/3 innings of work as the Rockies were forced into a bullpen game after scheduled starter Chi Chi Gonzalez was placed on the COVID-19 injured list earlier in the day. Carlos Estevez (2-3) gave up the Angels’ run in the eighth.

“We were hoping that (Tinoco) could give us a little bit of a bridge to the later innings and he had a tough outing, there’s no doubt about it,” Rockies manager Bud Black said.

The Angels moved one game over .500 for the third time since the All-Star break but have not been two games over since early July. The club has yet to show what it will do as the trade deadline approaches.

“As a player I don’t think I have any business talking about what the front office is going to do at the trade deadline,” Ohtani said through a team translator. “But whether we sell or buy, whatever happens, I still think we have a good shot at the playoffs.”

WELCOME BACK

After trading right-handed pitching prospect Case Williams to the Cincinnati Reds last year, the Rockies got him back Wednesday in a deal that sent veteran right-hander Mychal Givens to the Reds. Colorado also received right-hander Noah Davis.

Williams, who has made 12 appearances at the low Single-A level, was the Rockies’ fourth-round draft pick last year but was shipped to Cincinnati in a multi-player deal that brought right-hander Robert Stephenson to Colorado.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rockies: 1B C.J. Cron was not in the starting lineup Wednesday after leaving Tuesday’s game with a right groin strain. … While Gonzalez was placed on the COVID list, RHP Jhoulys Chacin was removed from the same list. The Rockies also recalled RHP Antonio Santos from Triple-A Albuquerque and selected the contract of RHP Jesus Tinoco.

Angels: Walsh, who injured his side Monday, was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right intercostal strain. Matt Thaiss and Gosselin will share first-base duties, with Maddon optimistic that it will not be a long IL stint. ... RHP Austin Warren had his contract purchased after RHP Andrew Wantz was optioned late Tuesday. … Trout’s recovery from a strained right calf “is changing for good on a daily basis,” according to Maddon. Trout, out since May 17, ran the bases twice last week before pausing his rehab program.

UP NEXT:

The Rockies continue their three-city Southern California tour on Thursday at San Diego when left-hander Kyle Freeland (1-5, 4.85 ERA) takes the mound.

In the opener of a four-game home series against the Oakland Athletics, the Angels will send either Alex Cobb or Dylan Bundy to the mound, depending on how the blister on Cobb’s right index finger has progressed.