Things don't go Shoemaker's way in rough inning
Angels righty chased by Royals after allowing six runs in second
KANSAS CITY -- Angels starter Matt Shoemaker was asked about what went wrong in Saturday's second inning of a 9-4 loss to the Royals and answered correctly with just one word: "Everything."
There was a leadoff homer, a couple of walks, a couple of doubles, a trio of singles and six runs, all before Shoemaker could record a third out that would give him a chance to at least pitch one more inning at Kauffman Stadium.
In short, everything.
"It seemed like not one thing could go right," Shoemaker said. "You were just trying to throw a quality pitch, get a guy out. No matter what you were throwing, they were hitting it."
Shoemaker faced 10 batters and threw 34 pitches in that second inning, departing with two outs and the shortest start of his hit-and-miss 2015 season.
Royals catcher Salvador Perez started it by obliterating a first-pitch 89-mph fastball to the top of the fountains in left-center field, a leadoff homer that Statcast™ projected to land 454 feet away. Then came a walk by Alex Rios, a double by Paulo Orlando, a two-run single by Jarrod Dyson, a sac bunt by Alcides Escobar, a walk by Ben Zobrist, an RBI single by Eric Hosmer, a single by Kendrys Morales, a run-scoring groundout by Mike Moustakas and an RBI double by Perez, bringing it full circle.
"I can't even describe how frustrating it was," said Shoemaker, now 5-9 with a 4.76 ERA one year after finishing second in the American League Rookie of the Year Award voting.
"Just a rough night on fastball command, and his secondary pitches didn't show up," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He just never got in sync. Not only falling behind in the count, but all the things he knows he needs to bring into a game were missing."
So is the Angels' mojo, the one they carried amid a 20-game stretch in which they won 17 times from June 27 to July 22.
They've lost five times in the first six games of this road trip and have won only six times over their last 22 games, immediately after the uplifting stretch that catapulted them to first place. The Angels remain 2 1/2 games back of the Astros in the AL West, but they're only a half-game up on the Orioles for the second Wild Card spot.
"Today," Scioscia said, "is one you turn the page on."
Shoemaker also pitched poorly in his only other start in Kansas City, giving up eight runs on 11 hits in four innings on June 27 of last year. More prevalent in his mind is that this start came five days after giving up three home runs in 5 2/3 innings at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.
"There's been quite a few more bad ones than last year," said Shoemaker, who posted a 1.69 ERA over a six-week stretch before this road trip. "I'm trying to minimize those."