One day after he beat out Nick Tropeano for the final spot in the Angels’ starting rotation, Jhoulys Chacin turned in another subpar outing, failing to finish five innings and putting the Angels on a path to their sixth straight loss against Oakland on Saturday at Angel Stadium.
Chacin walked four men and yielded six hits and four runs in 4 2/3 innings, forcing the bullpen to handle another heavy load of work. The 28-year-old right-hander did not record a strikeout and has just seven against 17 walks in 22 innings this month.
“You absolutely cannot go out there and give guys 10 baserunners in four-plus innings and think you’re gonna have a chance to win,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said.
Scioscia said Chacin will still make his next turn in the team’s rotation.
Acquired last month, Chacin’s 2016 earned-run average has sunk to 5.64 in 14 starts. But Tropeano cannot return to the rotation until next month, barring a disabled list trip from an Angel.
Chacin also permitted two first-inning runs. Trout made a powerful throw home in the third inning to nearly nix a sacrifice fly attempt, but did not succeed, and the A’s took the lead.
“We’re playing catch up and we’ve been doing it the whole series,” Scioscia said.
With two outs in the fifth inning, Albert Pujols launched a solo shot to left field, bringing the Angels within one run until Mike Morin gave up two more runs in the top of the sixth inning.
Pujols’ 574th home run pushed him ahead of Harmon Killebrew for 11th on MLB’s all-time home run list. It was his second homer in as many nights. He had not hit a home run since June 5 until Friday.
The Angels did not score again. They loaded the bases against left-hander Sean Doolittle in the ninth, but Jefry Marte popped out and Jett Bandy flew out.
Escobar sits out again
Yunel Escobar’s sore left knee held him out of Saturday’s game and could prevent him starting Sunday, too. The Angels had first hoped the third baseman would re-join their lineup Friday after he hurt the knee in Thursday’s seventh inning.
In his absence, Scioscia has turned to second baseman Johnny Giavotella to hit leadoff, but he said Escobar would return to the role as soon as he’s fit to start.
“We feel really confident with the table-sitting aspect that Yunel brings,” Scioscia said.
Right-hander Joe Smith (hamstring strain) will start Sunday’s game for Class-A Inland Empire and pitch one inning. He expects to be activated from the disabled list around Friday, when the Angels begin a 10-game road trip in Boston. …Infielder Cliff Pennington ran the bases and should begin a minor league rehab assignment. He also has a strained hamstring, his second this season. …Torii Hunter and his son, Angels’ 23rd-round pick Torii Hunter Jr., attended Saturday’s game. Hunter Jr. took a physical and signed with the team.
Follow Pedro Moura on Twitter @pedromoura