LOS ANGELES (AP) — Shohei Ohtani hit his major league-leading 35th home run and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Minnesota Twins 6-2 Sunday.
Ohtani, who had two hits, lasered a line drive into the right-field seats for a solo homer in the sixth inning that broke a 2-all tie. The Angels overcame an early two-run deficit to take three of four games in the series.READ MORE: Comedian Louie Anderson Dies At 68 After Battle With Cancer
“He just always responds. He likes the spotlight. He likes the big moments,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said.
Ohtani had four hits in his previous 17 at bats.
Max Stassi had three hits and drove in three runs for the Angels.
Max Kepler and Brent Rooker led off with back-to-back home runs for the Twins, now a season-worst 16 games under .500.
Rooker’s 436-foot drive went to the third deck in left field for a 2-0 lead.
Jaime Barria (1-0), recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake for his first start of the season, quickly put the rocky beginning behind him, allowing just two more hits in hisREAD MORE: Meat Loaf, Entertainer Known For 'I'd Do Anything For Love,' Countless Other Hits, Dies At 74
“He had the start the way he did, and I could sense or feel that he was starting to settle down. When we started seeing 94, 95, that’s territory I have not seen with him in the past,” Maddon said.
Through an interpreter, Barria credited the minor league staff for helping him work on the mental side of the game and staying focused “Day by day, just trying to go out there and attack,” Barria said.
Stassi hit his first career triple in the second, homered in the fifth and singled as part of a three-run ninth. He is the fourth Angels catcher to have a home run and a triple in the same game, and first since Mike Napoli on Sept. 19, 2008.
Brandon Marsh and Jack Mayfield added final-frame RBI doubles.
Bailey Ober allowed three hits and two earned runs in a season-high 5 1-3 innings before left-handed Danny Coulombe (1-1) came on to face Ohtani. His second pitch was Ohtani’s homer.
“We probably lost a little focus as the game went on in the middle innings and didn’t have the kinds of at-bats that we aspire to,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “… It started well, but you’re not going to usually win too many games hitting solo home runs.”MORE NEWS: State Route 18 To Reopen Tonight After Being Washed Out On Christmas Eve
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