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Angels' bullpen blows another lead in loss to A's

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 16, 2014 at 2:55 am •  Published: April 16, 2014
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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — After the bullpen blew a lead in spectacular fashion for the second straight night, not even Mike Trout's late homer could rescue the Los Angeles Angels from another disheartening loss.

Josh Donaldson drove in Jed Lowrie with an 11th-inning double, and the Oakland Athletics overcame Trout's tying homer in the ninth for a 10-9 victory Tuesday night.

One night after Angels closer Ernesto Frieri wasted a one-run lead in the ninth, newcomer Joe Smith squandered a 6-5 advantage in the eighth by giving up four runs, three hits and two walks without getting an out.

"I was absolutely terrible out there," said Smith, who didn't allow a run in his first six appearances for the Angels. "There's no other way to say it. That's as bad as I've ever performed. We've got to get some stuff figured out, as far as the late innings go in the bullpen. I mean, it's no secret right now. Me and Ernie, we've got to win those games — especially against this team."

Trout got the Angels back in it with a two-run shot off Sean Doolittle. But Lowrie led off the 11th with a single against Yoslan Herrera (0-1), and Donaldson hit a sharp grounder inside third base that left the Angels wondering when their bullpen will work properly again.

"We need to get some sort of order down there," manager Mike Scioscia said. "And if it (requires) doing it by committee, which we're talking about now, we'll do it. It looks like we don't have enough guys that are really getting into their game. We need some guys that are going to make some pitches and get outs, but right now we're struggling to find that chemistry."

The Angels' third loss in four games came with more bad news: Leadoff hitter Kole Calhoun is headed to the disabled list after turning his right ankle while running out a grounder in the 11th inning.

Smith even blamed himself for Calhoun's injury.

"When one of your guys goes down in the late innings, where if you just do your job, the game is over and he doesn't get hurt, and we have one more guy healthy, that's what hurts the worst," he said.

Jim Johnson (2-2) pitched two gritty innings for Oakland, getting Howie Kendrick on a groundout with Trout and Albert Pujols in scoring position to end the A's 15th win in 21 games at Angel Stadium.

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