ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani and Anthony Rendon struggled for most of the Angels’ weekend series against the Washington Nationals. Both came up with clutch hits to give Los Angeles a comeback victory in the finale Sunday.
Ohtani hit a tying, two-run double, Rendon followed with a game-ending single against his former team and the Angels stole away a 5-4 victory to win the three-game set.
“What’s so fun about this team and this offense is that we can ignite at anytime,” Rendon said. “We’ve had some games where we’ve ignited early and our pitching shuts them down the rest of the game, and we’ve had games where we’ve been shutout as hitters through eight innings on and then we come in and win it.”
The Angels trailed 4-2 going into the ninth. Luis Rengifo drew a walk with one out and advanced to third on Taylor Ward’s hit. Mike Trout struck out, then Ohtani drove a slider by Tanner Rainey (0-1) off the wall in center to tie it.
The reigning AL MVP had been 1 for 11 during the weekend series before that at-bat.
Rendon then lined a single to center and Ohtani slid to avoid Victor Robles’ throw home.
“I had a good start. By the way that ball landed, I was going to be able to score easily,” Ohtani said through an interpreter.
Rendon was 0 for 8 the first two games but had two hits Sunday to sink a team he spent seven seasons with and won a World Series title for in 2019.
It is the fourth walk-off hit of his career and first since signing with the Angels in 2020.
“I thought I got away with one there with Trout and then come back face Ohtani and the slider stays too much on the plate and zone and he does what he needs to do,” Rainey said. “I was trying to go up on Rendon and didn’t quite get up enough.”