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Shoemaker's wild night costs Angels

ANAHEIM -- Matt Shoemaker had one of those nights that he almost never has.

The Angels right-hander struggled to throw strikes from the start Monday, and when he did, the Athletics launched some of them over the fence en route to a 6-3 Oakland victory at Angel Stadium in the opener of a four-game series.

"Matty never settled in to what he does best," manager Mike Scioscia said. "That's strike one, pound the zone and change speeds. We'll turn the page on Matty for this one."

Shoemaker (2-1) entered the game 9-0 with a 2.60 career ERA against American League West teams. The first sign of trouble was a four-pitch walk to Sam Fuld to open the game. Shoemaker got out of the first inning allowing only one run, but Stephen Vogt touched him for a three-run home run in the third and Marcus Semien led off the fourth with another homer, giving the A's a 5-3 lead and ending Shoemaker's night at 68 pitches -- just 35 for strikes. 

Video: [email protected]: Semien hits a solo homer to left field

"He was out of sync from the beginning," Scioscia said. "When he got 0-2 to Vogt, he left a split right over the plate. These guys aren't robots. They're going to be out of sync once in a while. Matt usually makes adjustments -- he just wasn't able to do that tonight."

Shoemaker walked a career-high-tying three in three-plus innings. In 23 previous Major League starts, he had 16 games with one or fewer walks, including nine with zero walks. 

"Everything was kind of off -- it was one of those nights," Shoemaker said. "Unfortunately, those nights happen. You're almost fighting yourself, trying to execute pitches.

"The second was my best inning, but even there it was a struggle getting pitches where I wanted them," he said. "In the third inning, it caught up to us."

Shoemaker, who had won nine consecutive decisions prior to Monday, pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings against the A's on Aug. 31, the only other time he started against them. The Angels had won Shoemaker's previous 10 starts.

The Angels did get a good lift from their bullpen to stay close. Jose Alvarez pitched three scoreless innings. Mike Morin added one and Fernando Salas another, before he gave up a run in the ninth.

"Great job," Scioscia said. "Jose Alvarez kept us in the game. All of them. That's encouraging."

Earl Bloom is a contributor to
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