Los Angeles Angels tie questionable MLB milestone with 7 home runs in losing cause

The Los Angeles Angels tied a questionable major league record when they hit seven home runs — all solo hits — but still lost to the Oakland Athletics 8-7 Thursday in Anaheim, Calif.

The Angels are only the second team to hit seven solo homers and lose, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. They are also the first major team to hit seven solo home runs and score no other runs in a game.

“I guess they always say solo home runs don’t beat you, but you feel like if you hit seven you might. It didn’t work for us,” the manager said per Angels interim Phil Nevin.

Shohei Ohtani, who left Wednesday night’s game with a left forearm cramp, rebounded with two homers and two RBIs. It was his 11th multihomer game in the majors and his fifth this season.

Kurt Suzuki, Taylor Ward, Jo Adell and Jared Walsh also went deep for the Angels, who went 2-5 on their home turf. The seven circuits also tie an overall franchise record.

The Chicago White Sox in 2016 were the only other team to hit seven solo home runs and lose, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. In total, only six teams have hit seven solo homers in a game, won or lost, in MLB history.

“Today was a bit of a different baseball game than I’ve probably been in. It’s a very interesting scoreline,” Oakland manager Mark Kotsay said. able to get a win.

“The goal is to win the game and score more points. Solo home runs at the end of the day are nice, but they don’t necessarily always help you win games.”

Los Angeles led 2-0 after two innings on shots from Ohtani and Suzuki before Oakland opened it in the third against Halos starter Janson Junk (1-1).

Mickey Moniak — acquired from Philadelphia on Tuesday in Noah Syndergaard’s trade — shot right with one out in the ninth to put the Angels within a point. Max Stassi walked, but Ward retired and AJ Puk blew Ohtani short on the first pitch for his third save.

Solo shots from Ward and Adell in the third and fourth innings made it only the second time in franchise history that the Angels had success in each of the first four innings. The last time that happened was on August 19, 2017, in Baltimore when Mike Trout went deep in first and third and Luis Valbuena did it in second and fourth.

This is the third time this has happened in the majors this season. The Los Angeles Dodgers did it on May 24 in Washington and the Minnesota Twins on April 10 against Seattle.

“It’s obviously a positive thing. I would have liked to get the win, but you know, offensively, we needed to pick it up a bit. So that was a positive sign,” Ward said, referring to the Angels. . batting .199 as a team in July.

The Dodgers were the last team to hit seven solo homers on June 24, 2018 against the New York Mets.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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