Angels dip back below .500 with blowout loss to Athletics

Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney walks back to the mound as Oakland's Matt Chapman rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the fifth inning of the Angels' 12-3 loss Sunday.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

In the afterglow of a series-opening victory over the Oakland Athletics that extended a win streak to four games, it was easy for the Angels to picture at least splitting a four-game set.

But after too many innings got away from players who took the Angel Stadium mound, and too few hitters assembled productive performances, the Angels were left with a 42-43 record, a three-game losing streak and a 4 1/2-game deficit in the wild-card race.

“You win the first game of the series against the team you’re chasing, it’s unacceptable,” manager Brad Ausmus said after Sunday’s 12-3 defeat. “We need to play better than that, quite frankly. Any of us that put on that uniform and go into that dugout, we need to do a better job. We’re chasing Oakland, among other teams in the hunt. We just got back over .500 and we lose three in a row. We just have to be better. Simple as that.”

Tommy La Stella, elected by his peers as an All-Star reserve before the game, had three hits for the Angels. Teammate Shohei Ohtani hit two home runs, his 12th since making his season debut May 7.

But Oakland’s Matt Chapman, a first-time All-Star like La Stella, and starter Chris Bassitt ensured no Angels achievement mattered. Chapman hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning and a triple and three-run double in the seventh. Bassitt, who gave up two runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings, improved to 5-0 in 12 career starts with at least three runs of support.


Angels starter Andrew Heaney struck out eight on 104 pitches in six innings but surrendered five runs on six hits, including Chapman’s blast.

“Today was just kind of a slow, painful death,” Ausmus said. “It just kept spiraling in the other direction. It wasn’t a lot of fun to be there.”

The bloodletting by the A’s sapped the joy out of a team that planned a Western-themed travel day to start a weeklong sojourn to Texas, where the Angels will continue their 11-game stretch against American League West opponents with four against the second-place Rangers and three against the Astros.

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“It’s not what you want to do, especially when we get back to .500 or above it and trying to go on a little run,” said Kole Calhoun, whose error in the seven-run eighth inning prolonged a seven-run rally by the A’s. “It sucks. But we’ve got a chance to go to Texas and Houston and hopefully finish on the right foot going into the [All-Star] break.”

Short hops

Reliever Cam Bedrosian reported no symptoms of a concussion after a comebacker to the mound glanced off his glove and into his left temple. After being removed from the game, he was evaluated by medical personnel but did not submit to testing. The only reminder of the hit was a baseball seam-shaped mark under his eye. … Rookie left-hander Jose Suarez will be recalled Monday to start the Angels’ series opener against the Rangers. He is likely to remain part of the major league rotation until the Angels reinstate one or both of Matt Harvey (upper back strain) and J.C. Ramirez (Tommy John surgery) from the injured list after the All-Star break. … During this skid, the Angels left 20 men on base and went three for 17 with runners in scoring position.