Ward, Trout, Ohtani hit 3 straight HRs, Angels beat Royals 4-3

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Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Taylor Ward, Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani hit consecutive homers in the sixth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels hung on for a 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

Trout also had two doubles for the Angels, who managed only one hit in the first five innings against Jordan Lyles (0-4) before the heart of their order unloaded on the Kansas City starter during a nine-pitch span.

Ward’s drive into the short left-field porch was followed by Trout’s fifth homer of the year and Ohtani’s 415-foot blast to center for his own fifth homer. Los Angeles hadn’t hit back-to-back-to-back homers since June 8, 2019.

“It was good to see some quality at-bats, and obviously Shohei hitting a homer,” Trout said. “We gave Hunter Renfroe a little stuff because he couldn’t hit a homer (after the three straight). No, it’s all fun to get a good pitch to hit and put the barrel on it.”

Ohtani had two hits and two RBIs, and Ward scored two runs in the Angels’ second victory in five games. All three home-run hitters appeared to be revitalized after recent tough stretches on offense.

“We look at (Trout and Ohtani) like they’re Superman, and they’re human,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “They get tired. The last two nights, that’s the Mike we know. His bat has been flying through the zone.”

MJ Melendez, Vinnie Pasquantino and Bobby Witt Jr. connected for the Royals, who opened their 10-game trip by losing two of three in Anaheim. Kansas City has lost eight of nine and 11 of 13.

Lyles yielded four hits over six innings with five strikeouts.

“I know at least two of (the Angels’ homers) were off-speed pitches, and two of them were also two-strike pitches, so you give them credit,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “They put good swings on pitches when they were behind in the count. Those are three really good hitters, and Jordan did a heck of a job limiting the damage over six innings. You’re facing three of the best hitters in the game there, and that’s what they do.”

Reid Detmers yielded seven hits while pitching into the sixth for the Angels. Austin Warren (1-0) gave up Witt’s homer in the seventh during his second appearance of the season, and Carlos Estévez got his third save with a six-pitch ninth inning.

Melendez homered in the first, but Ward scored on Ohtani’s flyout later in the inning after advancing on Trout’s double.

Pasquantino delivered his fourth homer in the top of the sixth before the Angels’ barrage.

Ward had been in a 2-for-27 skid before his homer. He didn’t start Saturday night for the first time this season.

“It was a pretty cool moment, and definitely a difference-maker,” Ward said. “Definitely boosts your confidence a little bit.”


Three homers gave the Royals ample opportunity to use their new home run helmet – a silver chapeau resembling a medieval knight’s headgear that they placed on the home-run hitter’s head upon his return to the dugout.

The Angels are pioneers in this field, trading in last year’s home-run cowboy hat this spring for a large samurai helmet suggested by Ohtani.


Freddy Fermín got his first major league hit with a single in the third for Kansas City. The 27-year-old Venezuelan catcher is batting .293 at Triple-A Omaha, and he got a chance in the majors this weekend with Franmil Reyes on the paternity list.


Royals: Melendez left in the fourth inning with lower back tightness. Hunter Dozier replaced him in right field.

Angels: Promising rookie C Logan O'Hoppe will be sidelined for four to six months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. O’Hoppe was off to an outstanding start after seizing the Halos’ starting job behind the plate out of spring training, but he injured himself last week.


Royals: Brad Keller (2-2, 3.00 ERA) takes the mound when Kansas City continues its road trip in Arizona on Monday.

Angels: José Suarez (0-1, 9.26 ERA) has a golden opportunity to get his disappointing season on track when the struggling Oakland Athletics open a four-game series at the Big A on Monday.

Orioles sign OF Aaron Hicks, put Cedric Mullins on 10-day IL with groin strain

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BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles signed outfielder Aaron Hicks less than 24 hours after Cedric Mullins went down with a strained right groin.

Mullins went on the 10-day injured list, but the Orioles are hoping Hicks can help defensively in the spacious outfield at Camden Yards. Hicks was released last week by the New York Yankees with more than 2 1/2 seasons left on his contract.

“We had noticed that he was a free agent even before the injury,” Orioles general manager Mike Elias said. “When the injury occurred and it became pretty clear this was going to be an IL, it seemed like a good fit even more so at that time.”

The Orioles are responsible for paying Hicks just $483,871, a prorated share of the $720,000 minimum salary. The Yankees owe him the rest of his $10.5 million salary this year, plus $9.5 million in each of the next two seasons and a $1 million buyout of a 2026 team option.

The 33-year-old Hicks hit just .188 in 28 games for the Yankees this year.

“We have stuff that we look at from a scouting and evaluation perspective,” Elias said. “It’s very different from just looking at the back of a baseball card, and we hope that we get a bounceback from anyone we bring here.”

Hicks batted .216 last season.

“Hopefully that’s a good thing for him,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of the Baltimore deal. “A lot of time here and a lot of good things happened for him here. I know the last couple of years have been a struggle. But hopefully it’s a good opportunity for him and certainly wish him well. Not too well being in our division and a team we’re chasing, but hopefully it’s a really good fit for him.”

Mullins left a loss to Cleveland after he pulled up while running out an infield grounder. Outfielder Colton Cowser – the fifth pick in the draft two years ago – is hitting .331 at Triple-A Norfolk, but he went on the IL in the past couple weeks.

“Certainly he was building a case towards promotion consideration prior to his injury and prior to Cedric’s injury,” Elias said. “We’ll just see where we’re at.”

Hicks was active for the game but not in the starting lineup. Austin Hays, normally Baltimore’s left field, was in Mullins’ usual spot in center.

When the wall in left at Camden Yards was pushed significantly back before last season, it made left field a bigger challenge defensively.

“In this park … you really need two center fielders,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Aaron’s got a lot of center-field experience. Played left field here before also. Brings the defensive aspect and then the switch-hitting.”