OAKLAND — Maybe it was the pants. The Angels wore throwback uniforms Sunday to celebrate ’80s weekend and MC Hammer Bobblehead Day in the Oakland Coliseum, but many players’ pants didn’t seem to look or feel right.
Some were too short, some were too baggy, some were too tight. And then there were Hank Conger’s, which were a little loose and stopped at mid-calf. Really.
“I asked for capris style,” Conger joked as his teammates howled at the sight of him. “I’m wearing them.”
Not quite knowing what to do with the pants, players pulled them up to their knees, their high red socks giving them a bit of a Little League feel.
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The Angels looked like misfits and then played like misfits, falling apart during an eight-run first inning and losing to the A’s, 9-1.
Starting pitcher Joel Piñeiro lost his grip on the ball and the game quickly slipped away. The right-hander retired one of 10 batters before being pulled in the first inning, giving up eight runs — seven earned — four hits and four walks.
“I think I spiked every ball I threw, and when I did get a good grip, the ball was up,” Pineiro said. “It was weird. It was just slipping. I tried resin, dirt, sweat, anything I could find. I switched out balls more than I ever have. I’ve never had that problem before.”
Left-hander Gio Gonzalez limited the Angels to four hits and no runs in seven innings, striking out eight and walking two, and the Angels avoided their 11th shutout when Bobby Wilson hit a two-out, run-scoring single in the ninth inning against Jerry Blevins.
The A’s won three of four games, ending the Angels’ string of consecutive series victories at eight, their longest since their 100-win season in 2008.
Piñeiro walked the first three batters he faced before giving up a two-run single to Hideki Matsui. Scott Sizemore walked to load the bases and David DeJesus hit a routine grounder to first baseman Mark Trumbo, whose throw home pulled Wilson off the plate.
The error allowed a run to score, and Conor Jackson crushed his first grand slam and Oakland’s first slam this season to left field for a 7-0 lead.