Baseball: Ohtani exits mound early, hits 40th homer in Angels' loss

Shohei Ohtani hit his major league-leading 40th home run in a stellar offensive outing following an early exit from the mound, but his Los Angeles Angels could not hold on to the lead in an agonizing 5-3 loss Thursday to the Seattle Mariners.

The Mariners came back to win the battle of American League West divisional rivals as Cade Marlowe's ninth-inning grand slam erased a 3-1 Angels advantage and consigned Carlos Estevez (5-2) to his first blown save of the season.

Ohtani went 2-for-2 with two walks and scored the tying run at 1-1 following his 14th stolen base at Angel Stadium, where cramping in his right hand and fingers cut his pitching start to four scoreless innings.

The Angels led 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth before the AL Player of the Month for June and July added an insurance run by launching a long bomb 390 feet out to right field.

Coming off the first complete-game shutout of his major league career, Ohtani had thrown just 59 pitches by the time he was relieved by right-hander Jose Soriano.

The runaway AL MVP favorite had to work hard in the opening frame as he escaped a first-and-third, no-out jam with help from third baseman Mike Moustakas, who made the final out after fielding Ty France's grounder barehanded.

Ohtani appeared to be sailing more smoothly on the mound when he departed with the game still scoreless. He struck out four while allowing three hits and a walk.

Eugenio Suarez's opposite field home run put the Mariners on the board in the top of the sixth before the Angels rallied back in the home half of the inning.

Ohtani sparked the rally by stealing second base after being intentionally walked by Seattle starter Bryan Woo. He then scored the tying run on C.J. Cron's grounder before Moustakas made it 2-1 with his RBI double.

The Angels' loss leaves them four games back from the Toronto Blue Jays in the race for the third and final AL Wild Card berth.

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