Nolasco was virtually unhittable through seven innings. And then he couldn't get the ball to go where he wanted.
"What made him so strong through the first seven unraveled in the eighth," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He was getting ahead of hitters, mixing all his pitches. Two four-pitch walks sandwiched around a single. It looked like he lost his release point. He didn't get the ball where he wanted."
It seems too much like an aberration. After all, Nolasco had retired 28 straight batters between the top of the sixth inning against the Reds in his last start and the bottom of the sixth against the A's.
Nolasco walked a batter in the bottom of the fifth against the Tigers, two starts ago. He faced 62 men before walking Yonder Alonso leading off the eighth.
He was pitching lights out and, suddenly, he couldn't find home plate.
"It's frustrating. The walks gave them the game," Nolasco said. "I missed a couple of close pitches and the ground ball found a hole. It's not easy coming in with the bases-loaded and no outs. That's on me."
Scioscia replaced Nolasco with Mike Morin, who was charged with his first blown save after giving up a run-scoring single to Ryon Healy and a two-run single to Joey Wendle.
Nolasco had no reason to dwell after throwing seven spectacular innings.
"Guys made a couple of good plays," he said. "We were rolling and I let them back in the game. At the end of the day we lost and it's going to sting."
Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.