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    Angels’ Griffin Canning spoils night that includes Shohei Ohtani’s longest HR
    • July 1, 2023

    ANAHEIM — One bad inning from Griffin Canning was far too much for the Angels to overcome with one memorable swing from Shohei Ohtani.

    Canning gave up a grand slam in the second inning and then retired the last 13 batters he faced, leaving the mound just before Ohtani crushed the longest home run of his career.

    Ohtani’s 493-foot shot in the sixth inning wasn’t enough in the Angels’ 6-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night.

    “I don’t think there’s a ball gonna be hit farther than that one,” Manager Phil Nevin said. “Awesome.”

    Although it goes as a footnote in the Angels’ third straight loss, it’s an impressive footnote nonetheless.

    Ohtani yanked the pitch to straightaway right field, nearly reaching the seats above the electronic message board that sits just inside the foul pole.

    Shohei Ohtani! HR (30)

    6/30/23 @ LAA, 6th
    vs LHP Tommy Henry

    115.1 MPH / 29° / 493 ft to RF
    Off a 83.9 MPH slider

    It’s a home run in 30/30 parks.

    See this play in Gameday:

    — Home Run Report (@homerunreport) July 1, 2023

    The homer was the longest homer hit by any Angels player since StatCast began tracking them in 2015. It was the longest homer by anyone in the majors this season.

    It also gave Ohtani 30 homers for the season and 15 in June, extending the franchise record for homers in any month.

    Unfortunately for the Angels, it came after Canning had a one-inning meltdown that ended his string of quality work.

    Canning had a 2.25 ERA over his previous six starts, including a scoreless outing last weekend at hitter-friendly Coors Field.

    His rough outing on Friday night came on the heels of a pair of games in which starters Jaime Barría and Patrick Sandoval combined to allow 12 earned runs in the previous two games, both losses.

    Canning gave up a run in the first. He quickly retired the first two hitters of the game before allowing the next three hitters to reach, producing a run.

    In the second inning, he got two outs on six pitches before losing the strike zone. Canning walked three straight hitters.

    “Just being a little tentative, not being in attack mode, just shying away from contact too much instead of just letting my stuff playing the zone,” Canning said.

    Once the bases were loaded and he got to a full count on DH Lourdes Gurriel Jr., he did put one in the zone. But it was a hanging slider and Gurriel pumped it over the left field fence to break the game open.

    “Just uncharacteristic,” Nevin said. “He lost the command of his fastball there for a minute and the three walks there in the second ahead of the home run obviously hurts. It was like two sides to him today.”

    After the homer, Canning struck out Christian Walker to end the inning. He then returned to the mound in the third inning and struck out the side. He struck out the same three hitters in the sixth, finishing his 112-pitch outing with four perfect innings. He struck out nine of the last 13 he faced.

    “My college coach used to call it a bloody nose pitcher,” Canning said. “You get punched in the face and then you’re kind of ready to go compete. A little bit of that tonight.”

    Canning’s work after the homer not only gave him something positive to take into his next start, but it preserved the Angels’ bullpen. Left-hander Aaron Loup worked the seventh and then right-hander Victor Mederos made his major league debut by working the final two innings. Mederos gave up one run.

    Although it’s easy to say the Angels simply lost because of Canning’s one bad inning, Nevin wasn’t pleased with the way his hitters produced.

    “I think we’re better than that,” Nevin said. “We didn’t swing the bats well. Just put it that way. Uncharacteristic of our offense.”

    Mike Trout had two more hits, giving him five in the past two games, and Ohtani added two walks to his memorable homer.

    Ohtani finished June with a .394 batting average and an OPS of 1.444, with 29 RBIs. On the mound, he had a 3.26 ERA in five starts.

    “It’s fun to be a part of,” Nevin said. “It’s fun to watch. You can see there’s an extra little bit to him right now. He wants to win and we’re in a good place right now. I know we’ve had a rough three days, but still, everything is right in front of us. And I think he realizes that and it’s bleeding into the room. You can tell how happy he is to be here and how things are going. It’s becoming infectious within the room.”

    His previous longest HR was 470 feet.

    This one is 493, the longest HR in the majors this season (for now)

    — Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) July 1, 2023

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    ​ Orange County Register