Tyler Skaggs struggles against Oakland


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ANAHEIM — After an up-and-down May that saw him post a 5.29 ERA in six starts, Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs was hoping to put it behind him and get off to a better start in June. But it wasn’t to be on a night when the Halos could use a

ANAHEIM — After an up-and-down May that saw him post a 5.29 ERA in six starts, Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs was hoping to put it behind him and get off to a better start in June. But it wasn’t to be on a night when the Halos could use a starter pitching deep into a game, as he struggled against the A’s, allowing six runs in four-plus innings in a 7-4 loss Thursday night in the series finale at Angel Stadium.

Skaggs didn’t look as sharp as he did in his previous start, when he went a season-high seven innings and struck out eight against the Mariners, as his stuff wasn’t as crisp against the A’s. Notably, his fastball velocity dipped as his start went on, including averaging roughly 89 mph in the fifth after averaging 92 mph in earlier innings.

Box score

Skaggs, however, downplayed any health concerns and said his poor command was to blame for the rough outing and his velocity decreased because he threw 77 pitches through the first four frames.

“I just didn’t have it today,” Skaggs said. “It was just a disaster. Go back to the drawing board. It’s frustrating, I really wanted to go out there and give the team some length and win the series, and complete opposite today. I wouldn’t say it’s embarrassing, but it’s probably the worst outing I’ve had in a long time. Nobody’s more frustrated than me. I let my team down, I let the bullpen down. Just one of those days.”

Skaggs ran into trouble in the second, loading the bases with two outs, but escaped the jam by getting Josh Phegley to ground out to end the inning. He wasn’t as fortunate in the fourth, when he was hurt by three straight singles with one out, including RBI singles from Ramon Laureano and Jurickson Profar. Phegley brought home a third run with a sacrifice fly.

It unraveled further in the fifth, as he walked the first two batters he faced before surrendering a bloop RBI single to right field from Khris Davis. Kole Calhoun threw home on the play, but it got by catcher Dustin Garneau for an error, allowing both runners to advance.

“I think his command wasn’t there,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “Obviously, Skaggsy wasn’t as sharp as he has been other days. I think that was pretty clear. Just you could tell at the end a couple long at-bats, close to 10-pitch at-bats I think kind of wore him down a little bit as well. Just an off day.”

The RBI single from Davis knocked Skaggs from the game and the Angels turned to right-hander Jaime Barria, who was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake to provide cover as a long reliever. The defense, though, didn’t make it easy for Barria, who got Stephen Piscotty to fly out to left, only to see the ball slip out of Brian Goodwin’s hand as he tried to throw it in, allowing Matt Chapman to scamper home easily. Laureano added another sacrifice fly to give the A’s a 6-1 lead.

Barria, though, helped save the bullpen by throwing five innings, allowing one run on three hits. He’s likely to be optioned back to Triple-A on Friday, as the Angels still have to bring up a starter for Saturday with Nick Tropeano the top candidate.

“He did a nice job,” Ausmus said of Barria. “Was able to chew up the rest of the innings and save the guys in the bullpen from having to throw at all. So you know, not the way you want to draw it up, because you’d rather get the ‘W’ but there is a silver lining.”

Trout stays hot

Unlike Wednesday’s improbable comeback after being down by six runs, the offense couldn’t do enough despite yet another homer from superstar Mike Trout. Trout crushed a two-run homer in the fifth off veteran right-hander Mike Fiers, giving him his team-leading 16th blast of the year and his second in as many nights.

Trout has started to heat up recently, hitting .393/.541/.857 with four homers and 11 RBIs over his last eight games. But teams are continuing to pitch around him, including in the seventh, when he drew a two-out walk with a runner at first base and Shohei Ohtani grounded out to end the potential scoring threat.

“When the best hitter in the game gets hot he tends to do some damage,” Ausmus said. “He’s swung the bat pretty well starting in Seattle and he’s kept it going right through the beginning of this homestand.”

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.



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