Struggling Shohei Ohtani went deep to ignite a three-homer barrage in the second inning to lift the visiting Los Angeles Angels to a 5-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday.
Justin Upton and Anthony Benboom followed with solo shots off Padres left-hander Adrian Morejon.
Mike Clevinger opened the game for the Padres (34-22) and struck out two batters in the first inning. But Clevinger, who hadn’t pitched since Sept. 13 due to biceps tenderness, did not start the second in what the Padres described as “not a planned move.”
Eric Hosmer gave the Padres a 2-0 lead in the first, following a two-out double by Manny Machado with his ninth homer of the season. The blast was an opposite-field drive down the left-field foul line off Angels starter Jaime Barria.
Morejon walked the first hitter he faced ahead of Ohtani’s seventh homer of the season for the Angels (26-31).
The Angels scored their fifth run in the top of the sixth when David Fletcher’s line drive to left-center field bounced out of the glove of Padres left fielder Tommy Pham for an RBI single.
The Padres’ fifth loss in their last seven games prevented them from clinching the No. 4 seed in the National League playoffs. Meanwhile, the win kept the Angels’ faint playoff hopes alive. They are 13-6 over the last 19 games and won three of four against the Padres.
Left-hander Patrick Sandoval allowed two hits and struck out five over three scoreless innings to earn his first major league win against eight losses (four this season). Right-hander Felix Pena picked up his second save.
Morejon (2-2) took the loss. He was the second of eight pitchers used by the Padres on Wednesday.