Yankees suffer 5-2 home defeat to Angels in Game 1

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New York Yankees 2, Los Angeles Angels 5

NEW YORK — Shohei Ohtani homered in the first inning of the Los Angeles Angels’ 5-2 win over the New York Yankees on the 100th anniversary of the original Yankee Stadium, following in the footsteps of Babe Ruth.

Ohtani turned on an 88.7 mph sweeper from Clarke Schmidt (0-1) and hit a 116.7 mph shot into the Yankees bullpen in right-center, 391 feet from home plate, in a matchup featuring three AL MVPs. Ohtani celebrated his fourth home run of the season and eighth in 18 games against the Yankees with a kabuto helmet modeled after those worn by ancient Japanese warriors.

On April 18, 1923, when the original Yankee Stadium opened across 161st St., Ruth capped a four-run third inning with a three-run homer off Boston’s Howard Ehmke, leading New York to a 4-1 victory to inaugurate America’s first three-deck stadium.

Ohtani took a rare round of on-field batting practice in a nearly empty Yankee Stadium, a more modern version of the ancient ballpark that replaced it in 2009. The 2021 AL MVP is baseball’s most famous two-way player since Ruth, and he has surpassed the Bambino by playing full-time pitcher and batter.

He will make his next start against Kansas City in the homestand opener on Friday night. Ohtani threw just two innings and 31 pitches in his Monday start at Boston before an 85-minute rain delay cut short his outing.

The Angels’ Mike Trout, the 2014, 2016, and 2019 Most Valuable Player, singled and doubled as the game-time temperature returned to a more normal 52 degrees. In the fourth inning, after Andrew Wantz (1-0) walked Anthony Volpe with the bases loaded, reigning AL MVP Aaron Judge hit a sacrifice fly to score two runs.

In the fourth inning, Anthony Rendon brought in Mike Trout with an RBI single and scored on Hunter Renfroe’s double for a 4-0 lead. In the fifth inning, Ohtani reached on catcher’s interference, stole second, advanced to third on Kyle Higashioka‘s throwing error, and scored on Anthony Rendon’s sacrifice fly.

A total of 37,883 spectators were presented with special commemorative tickets to celebrate the occasion of the event’s 100th anniversary.

In 3 2/3 innings, Schmidt was charged with four runs and six hits, bringing his earned run average up to 8.79.

In 3 1/3 innings, Angels starter José Suárez allowed two runs, three hits, and a career-high six walks. José Quijada recorded three outs for his third save, capping up a four-hitter by five pitchers.

Oswald Peraza, got the start at second base for the first game of the season and went 1 for 3 with a walk.

UP NEXT

Yankees RHP Jhonny Brito (2-1), whose last outing against Minnesota ended after seven runs and two outs, takes the mound on Wednesday night.

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