Shohei Ohtani, Jose Iglesias

Shohei Ohtani celebrates with Jose Iglesias after hitting a two-run homer in the ninth inning Sunday, giving the Los Angeles Angels a 6-5 win over the Red Sox in Boston. Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

BOSTON — Shohei Ohtani stepped to the plate, trying to keep his slumping team in the game.

He did more than that, delivering what he called the most important home run of his four-season career in the majors.

Ohtani hit a two-out, two-run drive in the ninth inning and the Los Angeles Angels rallied past the Boston Red Sox 6-5 Sunday, ending a four-game losing streak.

“Coming off a losing streak and the first two games of the series, the way we lost, it wasn’t a good way to lose,” Ohtani said through a team translator. “So, it was huge for us and the team to come up with this. We showed that we can beat any team.”

Boston closer Matt Barnes (1-1) retired the first two batters in the ninth before giving up a bloop single to Mike Trout.

Ohtani followed with his major league high-tying 12th home run, tucked just inside the Pesky Pole in right field. It was Ohtani’s second homer of the series and stopped Boston’s three-game winning string.

“I personally think he’s the most physically gifted baseball player that we’ve ever seen,” Barnes said.

“I don’t know that you’re ever going to see someone who can throw 100, 101 and hit the ball 600 feet. He’s a special player and incredibly talented. Hopefully, he stays healthy and has a long career.”

Raisel Iglesias (2-2) pitched a scoreless eighth and Mike Mayers recorded his second save of the season.

Drew Butera’s two-run single capped a four-run second off Nathan Eovaldi that put the Angels ahead 4-0.

Rafael Devers hit a three-run drive and Kevin Plawecki hit his first homer in a four-run fifth that gave Boston a 5-4 lead.

Eovaldi allowed four runs with six strikeouts in five innings. Angels starter Jose Quintana gave up three runs in 4 1/3 innings, striking out seven.


Angels: Ohtani’s next pitching start has been pushed back a day, to Tuesday against Cleveland, because of fatigue. … Outfielder Justin Upton was not in the lineup. Manager Joe Maddon said it was a scheduled day of rest… Infielder David Fletcher was not in the starting lineup because he is dealing with what Maddon called an issue in the groin/hip area… Right-hander Alex Cobb (right middle finger blister) is progressing and could return later in the week.

Red Sox: Right-hander Garrett Whitlock was reinstated Sunday from the COVID-19-related injured list. … Kiké Hernandez continues to rehab from a right hamstring strain. He played center field for Triple-A Worcester on Sunday, recording five RBI on two homers, including the first grand slam in the history of the team’s new park. … Infielder Christian Arroyo (left hand contusion) was scheduled to hit off a tee on Sunday, with a plan to take batting practice by Wednesday. … Manager Alex Cora said utility player Danny Santana (severe right foot infection in spring training) is “almost there.”

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