The Angels needed to turn the page after Sunday. They gave it their best effort, winning in walk-off fashion on Michael Stefanic’s RBI single in a 4-3 extra-inning win over the New York Yankees at Angel Stadium. It was a sweet end to a game for the Angels and included another late-inning, clutch monster home run from Shohei Ohtani and Griffin Canning’s strongest start of the season.
Stefanic was celebrated for his contribution, but the players in the clubhouse still in awe over Ohtani’s homer.
“I was kind of just egging [my teammates] on, trying to get them out there as quickly as possible,” Stefanic joked of his celebration. “We don’t get paid overtime for extra innings. Let’s go home and do it again tomorrow.
“I was surprised they threw to him there,” Stefanic added of Ohtani’s home run.
The Angels improved to 47-48 overall and have won two of their last three after losing 10 of 11.
Canning struck out a career-high 12, going 5 ⅔ innings while throwing a career-high 120 pitches.
Canning began the sixth inning having thrown 101 pitches. Manager Phil Nevin came out during that sixth inning after Canning walked the Yankees’ Isiah Kiner-Falefa, but Canning remained, determined to get the last out. He was finally pulled after loading the bases.
It was a length and strength the Angels needed to avoid the same snowball effect that happened with the rest of their pitching on Sunday.
Reliever Jimmy Herget came in to replace Canning for the final out of the sixth, but two runs scored after Yankees’ right fielder Oswaldo Cabrera hit a two-run ground-rule double.
Ohtani, who went three for four on the night, tied it in the bottom of the seventh when he hit a two-run home run, bringing him just a triple shy of the cycle.
“I mean what can the guy not do,” reliever Aaron Loup said. “I mean it’s every night. You need a big hit? Here’s Shohei. Homer. It’s every night. I mean I don’t want to say you come to expect it but when he doesn’t it’s like ‘man, what happened? Why’s he not hitting a homer tonight? It’s unbelievable what he does day in and day out.”
Loup navigated around the automatic runner on second base in the top of the tenth inning, getting his final two outs decisively on strikeouts.
“It felt good, I’m not gonna lie,” Loup said. “I’ve always enjoyed those pressure situations because I feel like it brings the best out of me.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.