Ohtani homers, drives in 4 as Angels beat Blue Jays 7-1

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

DUNEDIN, Fla. — Shohei Ohtani homered and drove in four runs, Andrew Heaney pitched six scoreless innings and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-1 on Friday night.

Ohtani completed a four-run second with a three-run double to deep right-center off T.J. Zeuch. He also connected for a 422-foot solo drive to center during Los Angeles’ three-run fifth.

“Very forceful swing,” Los Angeles manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s definitely not a sugar-coated swing.”

Heaney (1-1) allowed three hits, struck out nine and walked two in the second game at TD Ballpark. The Angels also won the first regular-season game at Toronto’s spring training stadium, 7-5 in 11 innings on Thursday night.

Jared Walsh hit a two-run drive off Zeuch (0-1) in the fifth as Los Angeles improved to 6-2 and matched the best eight-game start in franchise history (1970, 2017 and 2018).

Zeuch, who replaced opener David Phelps in the second, allowed seven runs and six hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Los Angeles right fielder Dexter Fowler left in the second inning with a left knee contusion after stepping awkwardly on second base on David Fletcher‘s run-scoring fielder’s choice. After being on the ground for several minutes, Fowler was able to walk to a cart that took him off the field.

“I don’t think it’s bad, fortunately,” Maddon said.

Maddon thinks it is possible that the Angels won’t need to make a roster move following Fowler’s injury.

The Angels had scored the winning runs in their final trip to the plate in each of their first five victories this season.

Marcus Semien, who had two of Toronto’s five hits, scored on Chris Rodriguez’s wild pitch in the eighth.

“We’ve just got to relax a little bit and get good pitches,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said. “As a team, we’re expanding the zone a lot and we’re paying the price.”


The Blue Jays and their Triple-A team in Buffalo announced a joint multimillion dollar renovation project to prepare Sahlen Field for expected big league games later this season. The project will have the minor league team begin its season next month in Trenton, New Jersey. The Blue Jays played home games in Buffalo last year due to the ongoing Canada-US border closure. Toronto is scheduled to remain at TD Ballpark through May. No date has been set for a Blue Jays move to Sahlen Field.


Angels: Ohtani, who had his pitching start this weekend pushed back due to a blister on his right hand, threw in the outfield before the game. “We want to make it well-well,” Maddon said. The session included long tossing. “Feels much better,” Ohtani said through a translator. … RHP Alex Cobb had his start moved back one day to Sunday due to a blister.

Blue Jays: Placed OF Teoscar Hernandez on the injured list after he was exposed to someone with a positive coronavirus case outside of the team. LHP Ryan Borucki also went on the injured list with vaccine side effects, which included a fever and fatigue. LF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. left after two innings with vaccination-related symptoms.


Blue Jays left-hander Steven Matz (1-0) and Angels left-hander Jose Quintana (0-0) are Saturday night’s scheduled starters. Quintana is 7-2 with an 1.88 ERA in 10 starts against Toronto.

MLB, union resume blood testing after pandemic, lockout

Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK – In the first acknowledgment that MLB and the players’ association resumed blood testing for human growth hormone, the organizations said none of the 1,027 samples taken during the 2022 season tested positive.

HGH testing stopped in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Testing also was halted during the 99-day lockout that ended in mid-March, and there were supply chain issues due to COVID-19 and additional caution in testing due to coronavirus protocols.

The annual public report is issued by Thomas M. Martin, independent program administrator of MLB’s joint drug prevention and treatment program. In an announcement accompanying Thursday’s report, MLB and the union said test processing is moving form the INRS Laboratory in Quebec, Canada, to the UCLA Laboratory in California.

MLB tests for HGH using dried blood spot testing, which was a change that was agreed to during bargaining last winter. There were far fewer samples taken in 2022 compared to 2019, when there were 2,287 samples were collected – none positive.

Beyond HGH testing, 9,011 urine samples were collected in the year ending with the 2022 World Series, up from 8,436 in the previous year but down from 9,332 in 2019. And therapeutic use exemptions for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder dropped for the ninth straight year, with just 72 exemptions in 2022.

Overall, the league issued six suspensions in 2022 for performance-enhancing substances: three for Boldenone (outfielder/first baseman Danny Santana, pitcher Richard Rodriguez and infielder Jose Rondon, all free agents, for 80 games apiece); one each for Clomiphene (Milwaukee catcher Pedro Severino for 80 games), Clostebol (San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. for 80 games) and Stanozolol (Milwaukee pitcher J.C. Mejia for 80 games).

There was an additional positive test for the banned stimulant Clobenzorex. A first positive test for a banned stimulant results in follow-up testing with no suspension.