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OC Register: Poor pitching sends Angels to second straight loss to Pirates


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    Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun, right, slides before being tagged out by Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Jacob Stallings while trying to score on a ball hit by Matt Thaiss during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Pittsburgh Pirates’ Josh Bell, right, is congratulated by Starling Marte after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun, right, slides before being tagged out by Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Jacob Stallings while trying to score on a ball hit by Matt Thaiss during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Pittsburgh Pirates’ Pablo Reyes, right, scores on a double by Adam Frazier as Los Angeles Angels catcher Max Stassi waits for the ball during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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ANAHEIM — A night that began so well for the Angels ended up as yet another another ugly loss.

Despite taking a four-run lead after two innings, the Angels lost 10-7 to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night, allowing 10 runs for the second night in a row to a team that came to Anaheim 21 games under .500.

The good feelings from the Angels’ two-game winning streak over the weekend in Boston have vanished amid two straight nights of poor pitching, with a sprinkle of poor defense too.

The hitters at least showed up, generating a quick 4-0 lead, with two of the runs coming home on a pair of extra-base hits by Shohei Ohtani.

But the lead was gone by the fifth, with three runs scoring against Griffin Canning in his return from the injured list and then four more in one nightmarish inning from struggling Taylor Cole.

Canning, who pitched six scoreless innings in his last outing before being sidelined with elbow inflammation, struggled through the first inning, throwing 30 pitches before escaping without allowing a run.

He had a 4-0 lead when he took the mound in the third, which included one particularly ugly sequence.

Josh Bell dropped a bloop single into left, driving in the Pirates’ first run. Left fielder Justin Upton, who slid to attempt the catch, then threw to third to try to get Bryan Reynolds, but no one was covering the bag because shortstop David Fletcher and third baseman Matt Thaiss had also gone out to left to try to make the catch.

As the ball dribbled into foul territory, Bell went for second. Canning, who had been backing up third, chucked the ball into right field, allowing Reynolds to score and Bell to take third.

Bell then scored on a clean hit by Colin Moran, which made all the runs earned.

Those were the only three runs that Canning allowed, but he ended up throwing 80 pitches in four innings. He came into the game with a limit of about 90, so Manager Brad Ausmus went with Cole to start the fifth.

Cole endured a rough pair of games at the start of the last trip, in which he allowed nine runs in consecutive outings as an opener. He seemed to have corrected what was going wrong, though, by pitching 2-2/3 scoreless innings in traditional relief outings in Boston.

But when he came into the game with a 5-3 lead on Tuesday night, he let it get away quickly.

Cole gave up a single to Starling Marte and then a two-run homer to Josh Bell, tying the game. Moran shot a single up the middle and he scored on Jose Osuna’s double down the left-field line. Cole got the next two outs, including a 100.7-mph lineout, before Pablo Reyes singled up the middle, putting the Pirates up 7-5.

The Angels had a shot to get at least one run back, but Kole Calhoun was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a fly ball to center fielder Marte.

The Pirates then added three insurance runs against Luís García and Jake Jewell. The Pirates had 17 hits.

More to come on this story.

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