Shohei Ohtani hit two home runs.
Mike Trout chipped in one of his own.
The dynamic duo spoiled the first day of the Detroit Tigers‘ trip to Angel Stadium to begin a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels. Ohtani smoked his 31st home run in the third inning and launched his 32nd in the seventh; Trout collected his 30th long ball in the fifth.
“They’re tremendous players,” manager A.J. Hinch told reporters in Los Angeles. “You can’t make mistakes to them and you can’t keep them down very long if you don’t make good pitches.”
Ohtani, who has six multi-homer games this season, and Trout reached base six times in nine plate appearance, as the Tigers lost, 7-0, and were dominated by left-handed starter José Suarez. The 24-year-old tossed seven scoreless innings.
In total, the Tigers (51-84) recorded four hits and two walks. They’ve been shut out 19 times this season.
“I’m tired of tipping my cap,” Hinch said. “It’s a tough loss, 10-0. We did a lot wrong. We didn’t win.”
Position player Kody Clemens pitched the eighth inning, his third pitching appearance in the past seven days. He struck out Ohtani with a 68.4 mph eephus pitch for his first MLB strikeout, but he also allowed the Angels’ 14th, 15th and 16th hits, as well as their 10th run.
“I don’t know if (Ohtani) has ever faced a position player before,” Hinch said. “But that’ll go down in the memory book for Kody.”
In his MLB debut, pinch-hitter Josh Lester struck out swinging on a high fastball from right-handed reliever Andrew Wantz in the first plate appearance of his career. He is expected to start Tuesday’s game.
The onslaught begins
Two strikeouts from the Tigers in a 1-2-3 first inning started the game, then the main act began with two of the best players in baseball. Trout and Ohtani picked up back-to-back hits, a single and a double, respectively, before they scored on Luis Rengifo’s single and Taylor Ward’s groundout.
The Angles had a 2-0 lead after the first inning.
They never looked back.
Any momentum left-hander Tyler Alexander from prefect second inning (and two strikeouts) didn’t last long. Trout doubled with one out in the third, and Ohtani lined the next pitch — a 90.4 mph four-seam fastball over the heart of the plate — to right-center field. His swing produced a game-high 111.4 mph exit velocity, as well as a two-run home run for a 4-0 advantage.
“Middle-middle pitches at this level against their best hitters is a bad combo,” Hinch said. “He didn’t execute a lot of pitches early. They hit him soft early, but then they hit him hard the rest of the game. It looked like bad pitches in bad spots.”
Rengifo followed with a triple and scored on Ward’s sacrifice fly to make it 5-0.
In the fifth, Trout crushed Alexander’s changeup for a solo home run. He hit the ball with a 111 mph exit velocity, second-highest for the game. Later in the inning, Matt Duffy hit another changeup for an RBI double and a 7-0 lead.
Alexander allowed seven runs (six earned runs because of Javier Báez’s throwing error) on 10 hits and zero walks with two strikeouts. He threw 85 pitches (61 strikes), primarily relying on his four-seam fastball, cutter and sinker.
Putting on a Sho(hei)
With one out, the Tigers replaced Alexander with right-handed reliever Luis Castillo. He retired all five batters he faced. He ended his outing by striking out Trout on a full-count slider to conclude the sixth inning.
Right-hander Garrett Hill entered for the seventh and faced Ohtani. His first pitch, an 83 mph slider, was intended for the bottom corner on the outside part of the plate. Instead, the slider caught too much of the plate. Ohtani, who isn’t pitching this series, sent the ball 416 feet and over the wall in left-center field.
Ohtani’s second homer of the night put the Angels ahead, 8-0.
The Angels scored another run in the seventh — Max Stassi tacked on an RBI single — and made several defensive changes ahead of the eighth inning to rest their regulars, including Trout.
Ohtani finished 3-for-4 with a double, two homers and three RBIs. Along with 32 homers, Ohtani has 21 doubles in 2022. Trout, meanwhile, has 19 doubles, went 3-for-4 and finished a triple shy of the cycle.
Rengifo recorded three hits, while Duffy had two hits.
The Tigers came closest to scoring in the third and seventh innings.
Victor Reyes doubled with one out in the third, only for Suarez to send Riley Greene and Willi Castro back to the dugout. Torkelson doubled with one out in the seventh, but Kerry Carpenter flied out and Ryan Kreidler struck out swinging on an elevated fastball.
“We missed pitches,” Hinch said. “The same pitches we were giving up, we weren’t hitting. He threw a ton of strikes. He beat us in the strike zone. We had a decent plan against him, but we really didn’t execute it.”
Suarez gave up three hits and one walk over seven innings while striking out seven batters. Torkelson drew a five-pitch walk in the second, Kreidler reached on a fielding error in the fifth and Castro singled in the sixth.
After Castro’s single, Báez and Eric Haase struck out on Suarez’s next six pitches.
For Suarez’s 92 pitches (67 strikes), he used 27 four-seam fastballs (29%), 27 sliders (2(%), 16 changeups (17%), 15 sinkers (16%) and seven curveballs (8%). He generated 15 swings and misses with seven four-seamers, two sliders and six changeups.
Contact Evan Petzold at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.