Anaheim, California — Wily Peralta found out for himself on Saturday night just how hard Shohei Ohtani can hit the baseball.
Peralta made his first MLB start in more than four years and became the third pitcher for the Detroit Tigers to give up a home run to Ohtani in the series.
Ohtani didn’t cause the only damage for the Los Angeles Angels in the 8-3 win, their third straight in the four-game series. But the Japanese two-way star turned up the volume once again at Angel Stadium.
Peralta gave up another two-run homer in the third inning before forging through five innings, a big relief effort for the Detroit bullpen.
“Obviously, this didn’t go the way I wanted it today,” Peralta said. “I want to perform better. It’s just one start.”
Peralta allowed five runs and seven hits, struck out two and walked two in his first start since May 14, 2017, when he played for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Peralta was stepping into the rotation in place of Matthew Boyd, who left his start on Monday with muscular tendinitis in his throwing elbow, which will keep him out until at least after the All-Star break next month.
“I think the best part is he was able to recover from the bad inning and get us a couple more innings after that,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said. “We wanted to stretch him out. Once we fell behind, it was important for him to condition himself for the next start and he was able to do that with some zeros.”
The Tigers were mostly unable to solve Angels left-hander Patrick Sandoval, who struck out eight through four innings before giving up a solo home run to Daz Cameron in the fifth and another to the red-hot Jonathan Schoop in the sixth.
The Tigers were down by five runs by the time Detroit’s offense came alive, scoring a solo run in the second and four in the third.
Ohtani was also the winning pitcher in Thursday’s game, and hit two home runs in Friday’s win.
“Ohtani can do so much on the field. We’ve seen it over the last few games,” Hinch said. “He can hit any pitch at any point out of any part of the ballpark. That’s why he’s special.”
The Angels haven’t been shy about taking extra bases against the Detroit defense this series either. They followed suit to take the lead in the second inning for the third straight time in the series.
Jared Walsh continued to second on a hard line drive into the gap that was cut off by left fielder Eric Haase, who played catcher the first two games of the series.
The Angels turned that into a run when Jose Iglesias beat out an infield single up the middle to put runners on the corners with one out, and Luis Rengifo hit a slow roller to second for a force out, scoring Walsh for the 1-0 lead.
“What tonight showed is we haven’t outgrown some of the mental mistakes that come with the pressure style of play that we’re trying to instill in ourselves,” Hinch said. “We didn’t respond very well to the pressure they put on us.”
David Fletcher singled to lead off the third. He hustled around to third after tagging from first on a foul pop out to catcher Jake Rogers and continuing to third on a throwing error to second.
It didn’t matter where Fletcher was standing as Ohtani sent a 95-mph fastball into the Detroit bullpen in left field for a 3-0 lead.
Taylor Ward followed with a two-out double and Walsh homered for the second straight game to extend the lead to 5-0.
Cameron went deep for the second time this season in the fifth to make it 5-1. His father, former major leaguer Mike Cameron, was in attendance.
“A big moment for (Daz) and a continued step forward for him,” Hinch said. “Being able to do that in front of his family should be a proud moment. Daz has a lot of ability. He’s learning a lot. He’s got a lot of room to grow.”
Schoop, who came in hitting .355 in June with seven home runs and 15 RBIs, hit one just out of the reach of Upton in left to make it 5-2.
Sandoval tried to finish the inning, but walked Miguel Cabrera.
Steve Cishek relieved Sandoval and gave up a walk to Haase and an RBI single to make it 5-3 and bring up the go-ahead run, but Willi Castro grounded out to second to end the inning.
The Angels continue to be a mix of long ball and small ball in the series, getting a run back in the sixth on a squeeze play by Fletcher to extend the lead to 6-3.
The Angels tacked on two more runs in the eighth to give them at least seven runs in all three games of the series.
Prior to the game, the Tigers put infielder Niko Goodrum on the 10-day injured list with a left finger tendon injury. They recalled infielder Isaac Paredes from Triple-A Toledo. Goodrum was injured diving for a ball in the sixth inning of Friday’s game.
Paredes was originally scheduled to start at shortstop, but had a flight delay and Harold Castro started instead.
Dan Arritt is a freelance writer.
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