Hale gave up two-run homers to Josh Reddick and Ike Davis in the first inning, but lasted seven innings in the Rockies' third straight loss, 7-1, to the Athletics at the Coliseum on Monday night.
On several pitches Monday, Hale put recent tweaks to his sinker and changeup into action. Of the Athletics' nine hits off Hale, three were painful -- the Reddick and Davis homers, and Billy Butler's leadoff homer in the fourth. But that's all it took.
"Feeling good and the numbers not showing it is very frustrating," Hale said. "The mechanical adjustments I've made this week have helped me out a lot. [The A's] got to me that one inning."
The mistakes are adding up.
Over his last three starts, Hale -- acquired from the Braves last winter for two Minor League catchers -- has given up 27 hits and six homers in 16 2/3 innings. In seven starts, Hale has yielded 11 homers in 42 1/3 innings, and compiled a 5.95 ERA. The homer pace against Hale is more dramatic than that of teammate Kyle Kendrick, who leads the Majors with 23 homers against, in 96 1/3 innings.
After the first inning Monday, all Hale could do was hang in and hope.
"They had a big first inning, but after that, David settled in and actually pitched pretty well," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
Hale admitted being surprised by the Athletics' aggressiveness. Three of the first four hitters were aggressive early in the count. Billy Burns grounded out on Hale's first pitch, Stephen Vogt singled on a second pitch and, after Hale struck out Ben Zobrist, Reddick jumped on a first-pitch fastball. Hale said he threw it to the location he wanted, but Reddick was ready for it.
Results like that undo a lot of good work during bullpen sessions.
"I've felt pretty good recently, especially today," Hale said. "They got to a couple and put us in a hole."