Shohei Ohtani blasts a pair of home runs in another Angels loss, Verlander sharp for the Astros

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The Los Angeles Angels made the wrong kind of history on Thursday, becoming the sixth team in MLB history to hit seven home runs in a loss, going down 8-7 at home against the Oakland Athletics.

It was also the first time ever that a team has scored seven runs with every run coming courtesy of a solo long-ball.

As has been a recurring theme of superstar Shohei Ohtani's tenure with the Angels, he put on a dazzling display only for his team to fall short. The reigning AL MVP opened the scoring with a solo blast in the first inning, and added a second homer later in the contest.

Kurt Suzuki, Taylor Ward, Jo Adell, Jared Walsh and Mickey Moniak all sent a ball over the fence for the Angels, but it was not enough as starting pitcher Janson Junk struggled mightily.

Junk gave up six earned runs in just the third inning as Ramon Laureano and Sean Murphy hit back-to-back two-RBI doubles, followed by a two-run homer from Seth Brown. Laureano later added his own two-run shot, giving him four RBIs in the contest.

The loss relegates the Angels to a disappointing 44-61 record, while Ohtani is now top-five in the American League in home runs (24) as a batter, and strikeouts as a pitcher (152 in 18 starts).

All-Star Dodgers duo flex their power

Known primarily for their contact, speed and defense, Los Angeles Dodgers All-Stars Mookie Betts and Trea Turner both showed off their power in a 5-3 win against the San Francisco Giants.

In a game where starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw was forced to leave his start after four innings due to lower-back pain, the offense picked up the slack, with a three-run launch from Betts in the fourth inning turning a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead.

The Dodgers would never allow the Giants back into the game, and Turner got in on the action in the seventh inning with a 419-foot whack for the longest hit of the game.

Betts, Turner and Freddie Freeman – who also had a hit for the Dodgers – are all considered candidates for the National League MVP.

Verlander dominates for the Astros

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander showed why he is the American League Cy Young Award favourite, keeping the Cleveland Guardians quiet in a 6-0 victory.

Verlander held the Guardians to just two hits and one walk in his six scoreless frames, striking out five batters in the process. He is expected to battle it out for the AL's best pitcher award with Tampa Bay Rays star Shane McClanahan.

With the bat, Fabio Maldonado and Chas McCormick collected three RBIs each, with key trio Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez and Jeremy Pena also combining for six hits and three walks.

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