OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Angels catcher Chris Iannetta hopes this happens to Garrett Richards many times over.
“It would mean he would have a long, successful career,” Iannetta said.
Richards failed to get out of the first inning Friday night, hammered for five quick runs in a 9-5 loss to the Oakland Athletics.
“He was just missing. It wasn’t like he was all over the place. This stuff just happens,” Iannetta said.
Richards (4-2) had not allowed more than two runs or five hits in his first six starts on the road before giving up five hits – including Brandon Moss’ grand slam – in the first inning Friday.
“That was embarrassing,” he said. “I didn’t show up for us tonight. I put us in a hole early. I couldn’t find a feel for the two-seamer and couldn’t make the adjustment.”
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he kept hoping the 26-year-old righty would find a way out of it, but Scioscia said he had to lift Richards after he walked in a run.
“It just wasn’t there for him; that inning just steamrolled,” Scioscia said. “It was all out of whack. Even after the grand slam it went the other way. There comes a time when you don’t want to put a pitcher at risk.”
Richards did not get an out before Moss’ slam and loaded the bases again before managing his second (and final) out. He walked Coco Crisp and was replaced by Wade LeBlanc.
“When you know a fastball is coming, it’s easier to hit,” Richards said. “Wade threw a heck of a game to keep us in it. I’m disappointed, but I can’t let one outing ruin my progress.”
Oakland kept hitting against LeBlanc, who allowed a pair of home runs to Josh Donaldson.
Howie Kendrick hit a two-run homer and Mike Trout added a solo shot for the Angels, who lost for only the seventh time in 21 games. C.J. Cron also drove in a pair of runs.
Drew Pomeranz (5-2) pitched a season-high 5 1-3 innings, allowing five runs and four hits. He walked three and struck out five.
Pomeranz had not allowed a run at home in 17 innings before the Angels struck in the fourth.
Donaldson homered in the second and singled home a run in the third before the Angels answered with three runs in the fourth on the homers by Kendrick and Trout.
Donaldson added a two-run shot in the fifth to put the A’s up 9-3. Cron responded with a two-run double in the sixth.
LeBlanc pitched 6 1-3 innings in relief. He gave up four runs and six hits, striking out four.
“The bullpen had to pick up 7 1-3 innings,” Scioscia said. “For one guy to take care of 6 1-3 innings is huge. Wade was able to give us length. There were a lot of turns in that game and we couldn’t get the momentum.”
NOTES: Angels OF Josh Hamilton was 2 for 4 with a run scored and a strikeout in his first game of a rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake. … LHP Tyler Skaggs (4-2, 3.97 ERA) is the Angels’ scheduled starter Saturday. He set a season high with eight strikeouts in his last start. LHP Tommy Milone (3-3, 3.50) goes for the A’s. He is 3-0 with a 1.03 ERA over his last four starts. … Trout extended his hitting streak to 11 games and has driven in 10 runs during that span.