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Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout lead Angels into series vs. Yankees

Sportsnaut
May 28, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA;  Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) talks with Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) in the dugout during the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout are in their fifth season as teammates, but injuries have prevented the duo from being available at the same time for games at Yankee Stadium.

For the first time in a little over four years, Ohtani and Trout will be in the lineup together in Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night when the Los Angeles Angels visit the New York Yankees for the opener of a three-game series.

Ohtani and Trout’s only appearance in New York together occurred May 25-27, 2018, when the duo combined to go 6-for-20 with two homers and six RBIs. When the Angels visited New York on Sept. 17-19, 2019, Trout was out for the season with a foot injury and Ohtani was shut down due to a knee injury.

After the pandemic limited games in 2020 to divisional play, Trout missed all four Yankees games last season with a calf injury that limited him to 36 games while Ohtani hit three of his 46 homers in New York.

Ohtani, who will also be the starting pitcher Thursday, has 11 homers and Trout has 13 blasts. This time they are leading an offense that is tied for the American League lead with the Yankees in homers (67) and tied for seventh in the majors in batting average (.251).

Despite the productive offense, the Angels head to New York on a season-high five-game losing streak after scoring 18 runs and getting 32 hits in three straight one-run losses to the Toronto Blue Jays, as their bullpen allowed 10 runs (nine earned) in 13 innings.

“We’ve played well enough to win those three games,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “A bunch of guys who had been really good, collectively, and all of a sudden, it’s difficult.”

The Yankees are starting a stretch of playing 12 of their next 15 games at home, where they are 17-7. New York, which is without Giancarlo Stanton (right calf) and Josh Donaldson (right shoulder), is returning home after settling for a four-game split with the Tampa Bay Rays.

New York scored five times in the final three games of the series after opening it with a 7-2 victory Thursday. In Sunday’s 4-2 loss, Aaron Judge hit his 18th homer, but the Yankees were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and gave up two runs on a walk and a hit by pitch.

“We’ve got a good ballclub here that’s been grinding out these first two months,” Judge said. “We got hit with a couple injuries the last couple of weeks, but that’s not going to change what this team is about and what we can do.”

The Yankees hope to get their offense going again when they face former Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard (4-2, 3.08 ERA), who is making his eighth start on a one-year deal after missing virtually all of the previous two seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Syndergaard last pitched Tuesday against the Texas Rangers when he retired the first 13 hitters and allowed one run on four hits in a season-high eight innings.

Syndergaard is 3-0 with a 1.48 ERA in four home starts but 1-2 with a 5.93 ERA in three outings on the road. He is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in two career starts against the Yankees, whom he held to one run in five innings in a win on July 20, 2018 at Yankee Stadium.

Jordan Montgomery (0-1, 3.30), who is winless in his past 11 starts since Sept. 21, goes for the Yankees. Montgomery has allowed two runs or fewer in seven starts this season, including Tuesday when he allowed two runs in six innings of a no-decision against Baltimore.

Montgomery’s only previous start against the Angels was June 21, 2017, when he pitched 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball in an 8-4 win.

–Field Level Media