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Angels fall apart in first inning of 9-1 loss to A's

July 17, 2011 |  3:53 pm

Angels starter Joel Pineiro retired only one of the 10 batters he faced before he was pulled in the first inning Sunday, giving up eight runs -- seven earned -- and four hits and walking four in a 9-1 loss to the Oakland Athletics.

A's left-hander Gio Gonzalez gave up four hits in seven innings, striking out eight and walking two, and improved to 9-6. The Angels avoided their 11th shutout of the season when Bobby Wilson hit a two-out, run-scoring single in the ninth.

Pineiro, who walked four in only one of his previous 14 starts this season, walked the first three batters in the first before giving up a two-run single to Hideki Matsui. The right-hander walked Scott Sizemore to load the bases, and first baseman Mark Trumbo’s throwing error on David DeJesus’ fielder’s choice grounder allowed another run to score.

Conor Jackson then crushed his first career grand slam -- and Oakland’s first grand slam of the season -- to left field for a 7-0 lead before Kurt Suzuki grounded out to third. It marked the first time in Oakland history that the A’s scored seven runs before making the first out of the first inning.

But they weren’t done. Cliff Pennington doubled, then Jemile Weeks hit a run-scoring single to center to knock Pineiro out of the game.

Coco Crisp singled, but reliever Trevor Bell got Josh Willingham to fly out to deep center and, after walking Matsui to load the bases, he got Sizemore to line out to right to end an inning in which the A’s batted for about half an hour.

The seven earned runs given up by Pineiro were the most by an Angels starter since Ervin Santana agave up nine runs and 12 hits in 3 2/3 innings at Baltimore on Aug. 4, 2010. Pineiro had given up seven earned runs combined in 19 2/3 innings of his previous three starts.

The 1/3-inning start was the shortest of Pineiro’s career and the shortest by an Angels starter since Aug. 28, 2007, when Santana gave up five earned runs and four hits in one-third of an inning at Seattle.

The game was reminiscent of Scott Kazmir’s July 10, 2010, debacle in Oakland, when the left-hander was torched for 13 earned runs and 11 hits in five innings of a 15-1 loss.

Not exactly the kind of momentum-builder the Angels were looking for going into a three-game series against the first-place Texas Rangers, which begins Tuesday night in Anaheim.


Peter Bourjos goes on DL with injured hamstring

Angels split close games with Athletics

-- Mike DiGiovanna in Oakland

Photo: Angels starter Joel Pineiro reacts after giving up a grand slam home run to Oakland's Conor Jackson, left, during the first inning of the Angels' 9-1 loss Sunday. Credit: Ben Margot / Associated Press