The Los Angeles Angels tied a dubious major league record when they hit seven home runs – all solo shots – but still lost to the Oakland Athletics 8-7 on Thursday in Anaheim, California.
According to ESPN Stats and Information Research, the Angels are the second team to hit seven solo homers in a loss. First team in the majors to hit seven solo homers and no other runs in a game.
“I guess they always say home runs alone don’t beat you, but you think if you hit seven, you might. It didn’t work out for us,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said.
Shohei Ohtani, who left Wednesday night’s game with left arm cramps, returned with two homers and two RBIs. It was his 11th multihomer game in the majors and fifth of the season.
Kurt Suzuki, Taylor Ward, Joe Adel and Jared Walsh also went deep for the Angels, who went 2-5 on their homestand. The seven homers total also tied the franchise record.
According to ESPN Stats and Information Research, the Chicago White Sox were the only other team in 2016 to hit seven solo home runs and lose. In total, only six teams in MLB history have hit seven solo homers in a game, winning or losing.
“Today was a little different baseball game than I’ve probably been a part of. This box score is very interesting,” Oakland manager Mark Coetzee said. “I’m happy that our eight played and we were able to get the win.
“The goal is to win games and score more runs. At the end of the day, solo home runs are nice, but they don’t always help you win games.”
Los Angeles took a 2-0 lead after two innings from Ohtani and Suzuki before Oakland opened the third against Halos starter Jansen Junk (1-1).
Mickey Moniak — acquired from Philadelphia on Tuesday as part of the Noah Syndergaard trade — got the Angels within one run with one out in the ninth. Max Stacy drew a walk, but Ward struck out and A.J. Puck got Ohtani to fly out to short on the first pitch to save the third.
Solo shots by Ward and Adel in the third and fourth innings made it only the second time in franchise history that the Angels had a run in each of the first four innings. The last time that happened was August 19, 2017 in Baltimore when Mike Trout went deep on first and third and Luis Valbuena did it on second and fourth.
It’s the third time this has happened in the majors this season. The Los Angeles Dodgers played at Washington on May 24 and the Minnesota Twins played against Seattle on April 10.
“It’s obviously a positive thing. I would have liked to get the win, but you know, offensively we needed to pick it up a little bit. So that was a positive sign,” Ward said of the Angels. Batting .199 as a team in July.
The Dodgers were the last team to hit seven solo home runs on June 24, 2018 against the New York Mets.