Los Angeles Angels score 7 in 9th in 'crushing' loss for New York Yankees

ByABC News
July 1, 2021, 3:59 AM

NEW YORK -- Shohei Ohtani was done early. Jared Walsh and the rest of the Los Angeles Angels certainly were not.

The later it got, the better they played.

Walsh hit a tying grand slam off Aroldis Chapman in a seven-run ninth inning for his second homer of a long night, and the Angels stunned the New York Yankees 11-8 in a rainy game that finished after 1 a.m. on Thursday.

"Euphoria. That's the only way I can describe it," Walsh said.

Ohtani's highly anticipated pitching debut at Yankee Stadium was a wild wreck. He got only two outs and was charged with a career-worst seven runs -- but the Angels persevered through more than two hours of weather delays and bailed him out with an unprecedented rally.

"Everybody has got ownership in that," proud manager Joe Maddon said.

"Obviously since I've been here, probably the craziest, bestest result that we've had," he added. "A mind once stretched has a difficult time going back to its original form. I want to see a bump out of this. I want to see us understand what it takes to win and win against a good team in a very unfriendly environment. Bully for them."

Chapman, who hadn't pitched in a week, entered in a non-save situation to protect an 8-4 lead. He walked three batters to load the bases with one out and Walsh launched an 84 mph slider into the Yankees' bullpen in right-center for his second career slam and the first the closer had ever allowed.

The fireballing lefty hadn't given up a home run to a left-handed batter since August 2017.

Pinch-hitter Luis Rengifo broke the tie with a two-run single off Lucas Luetge (2-1) with two outs, and Taylor Ward added an RBI single.

Raisel Iglesias got three quick outs for his 15th save as seven Angels relievers helped to hand the Yankees perhaps their most demoralizing loss of an extremely disappointing season so far.

"A terrible loss," manager Aaron Boone said. "Frustrating. Disappointing. Terrible."

After the Angels came back, some of the few fans who remained chanted "Fire Boone! Fire Boone!"

"I feel terrible for them," Boone said. "They deserve better than this, especially staying late, we're past 1 in the morning, whatever we are, and hanging in there to want to see us finish that off. And obviously, we certainly share in their frustration."

Mike Mayers (2-3) got the win after giving up a solo homer to Brett Gardner in the eighth.

It was the first time the Yankees served up a tying slam in the ninth inning or later since Toronto slugger George Bell connected off Dave Righetti in June 1986.

Chapman hadn't walked three batters in a game since July 2019.

"Struggling to command my fastball," he said through an interpreter. "Definitely a struggling moment for me."

It's the third instance in baseball's modern era (since 1900) of a team scoring seven or more runs in the first inning and allowing seven or more runs in the ninth inning in the same game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The last team to do it was the Boston Braves in July 1913, according to Elias.

It was the fourth time the Yankees scored at least seven runs in the first inning and lost. The previous occasion came in 1954 against Cleveland.

The last time New York led by four in the ninth and lost was in August 2000 against the Angels.

"It's about as bad as it gets right there," slugger Giancarlo Stanton said.

DJ LeMahieu hit an early three-run double for the Yankees, who have dropped five of six.

Play was delayed a total of 2:13 during a pair of stoppages, pushing the finish to 1:06 a.m. The teams were scheduled to square off again in 12 hours -- weather permitting.

"As crushing as it is, this can't linger into tomorrow," Stanton said. "We've got a quick turnaround."

Facing the Yankees as a pitcher for the first time, Ohtani went bust with his Babe Ruth impersonation in the Bronx -- at least on this night. The two-way phenom, who leads the majors with 28 home runs, was chased after four first-inning walks.

Making his career-high 12th pitching start of the season on a 92-degree night that cooled off later, Ohtani flopped long before the showers arrived.

He was handed a 2-0 lead on Phil Gosselin's two-run homer in the first but quickly gave it back. The 26-year-old right-hander walked his first three batters and threw just 20 of 41 pitches for strikes. His ERA jumped from 2.58 to 3.60 after New York's biggest first inning since May 25, 2015, against Kansas City.

Ohtani also batted leadoff and flied out against Domingo German to begin the game. The slugging designated hitter/pitcher had 11 homers in his previous 13 games.

He became the first pitcher to start one game after hitting two home runs for his team since Ruth did it for the Yankees on Sept. 28, 1930. Ohtani socked three homers over the first two games of the series.

By the third inning, the taxed Angels were on their fourth of eight pitchers -- and without a designated hitter. Two of them besides Ohtani wound up batting in his leadoff spot.

"That's a National League game, so don't tell me it's no fun to watch the pitcher hit," Maddon said.

Dylan Bundy, who vomited on the Yankee Stadium field in the heat Monday night and lasted only 1⅔ innings, was summoned for his first relief appearance since 2016 with Baltimore.

The game was halted for 42 minutes in the bottom of the third because of rain. Play was stopped again for 91 minutes in the middle of the fifth with New York leading 7-4, thinning a season-high crowd of 30,714.

Walsh led off the Angels fifth with a homer against Luis Cessa.

"The postgame high-fives were the loudest and the most exciting of the year by far," Ohtani said through an interpreter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.