OAKLAND -- For the first three innings, Felix Pena was unhittable. That changed in the fourth.After needing only 25 pitches to retire the first nine batters he faced, Pena came undone, allowing the first seven batters in the fourth to reach base, which sparked a six-run inning that doomed the
OAKLAND -- For the first three innings, Felix Pena was unhittable. That changed in the fourth.
After needing only 25 pitches to retire the first nine batters he faced, Pena came undone, allowing the first seven batters in the fourth to reach base, which sparked a six-run inning that doomed the Angels in a 10-0 loss to the A's on Wednesday night at the Coliseum.
Nick Martini and Matt Chapman led off the fourth with consecutive singles, and both scored on Jed Lowrie's double to center field. Khris Davis then reached on an infield single after first baseman Jefry Marte unsuccessfully dove for a routine ground ball to second base, putting runners on the corners with no outs.
Pena walked Matt Olson to load the bases for Stephen Piscotty, who lined a two-run double over the head of Jabari Blash in right field to make it 4-0. Ramon Laureano followed with an RBI single, and Jonathan Lucroy later added a sacrifice fly to cap Oakland's big inning.
"Second time around, he just missed with some fastballs over the heart of the plate," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "When these guys got their second look at him, they didn't miss anything in that fourth inning. It was a tough inning for Felix. But in the first three, I think he was doing a lot of the same stuff he's been doing, and I thought he had a nice mix of pitches. In the fourth, he just had trouble commanding counts and putting those guys away."
Pena, who entered Wednesday with a 2.76 ERA over his previous eight starts, departed after allowing six runs on six hits over four innings, snapping his streak of six consecutive outings with at least six innings pitched.
It was an uncharacteristically poor showing for Pena, who had emerged as one of the most pleasant surprises of the season after making a successful transition from the bullpen to the rotation for the pitching-starved Angels.
"I'm going to put it behind me, just like the rough outing I had against Seattle," Pena said. "Some days you're going to feel good, but you're not going to be able to control what happens. The only thing that I can control is to keep working hard like I've been doing and prepare for my next start."
Parker Bridwell replaced Pena in the fifth and gave up a three-run home run to Piscotty that stretched the A's lead to 9-0. Bridwell has struggled against the A's in his four career appearances against them, yielding 22 earned runs over 8 2/3 innings (22.85 ERA).
"I don't know what it is," Scioscia said. "They got him earlier this year. They got him last year. There's nothing that's showing up other than just making better pitches."
The Angels' offense endured a forgettable night, mustering only three hits against A's left-hander Brett Anderson over 6 2/3 innings. However, it was memorable for rookie catcher Joe Hudson, who collected his first MLB hit with a two-out single in the third.
By the sixth, the Angels pulled starters Michael Trout, Andrelton Simmons and Justin Upton, allowing Michael Hermosillo, Eric Young and Sherman Johnson to enter the game. The 28-year-old Johnson came in to play second base in his MLB debut and became the 60th player to appear for the Angels in 2018, extending the single-season franchise record.
This was the 10th shutout loss for the Angels this season, and the second against the A's.
Right-handers Matthew Shoemaker (2-1, 3.98 ERA) and Edwin Jackson (5-3, 3.17) will face off on Thursday afternoon as the Angels and A's close out their three-game series at 12:35 p.m. PT at the Coliseum. Shoemaker took the loss in his last start on Friday after allowing three runs over 4 2/3 innings against the Mariners. He is 6-2 with a 3.61 ERA in 13 career games (12 starts) against Oakland. The game can be watched exclusively on MLB Live on Facebook.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.