Pineiro suffers short outing

Joel Pineiro hopes the shortest start of his career was just a one-time thing.

Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia just wants the offense to recharge when the Angels return home to take on the AL West Division-leading Texas Rangers.

Anything would be better than the Angels' 9-1 loss Sunday to the Oakland Athletics, who took three of four in the series.

"When you look at our last 35 games or so we've been playing good baseball," Scioscia said. "We were not good on the offensive end this series and we need to work on that. We didn't pressure those guys much and we struggled with runners in scoring position."

Alberto Callaspo went 3 for 4 but the Angels, who went into the All-Star break trailing first-place Texas by one game in the AL West, didn't do much else and dropped four games back.

Pineiro (5-4) was in trouble early.

The Angels' right-hander never got comfortable and walked the first three batters he faced. Hideki Matsui's two-run single was Oakland's first hit of the inning, but Pineiro walked Scott Sizemore.

"It was weird, the ball was slipping out of my hand every time," Pineiro said. "I spiked it every time and it never reached the plate. When I tried to make the adjustment I left it up and they hit it. I tried to do everything, look for sweat, dirt, rosin, anything."

Conor Jackson hit his first career grand slam to highlight Oakland's outburst.

The A's sent 14 batters to the plate and chased Pineiro after just one-third of an inning. Seven of the runs came before an out was recorded, a first for Oakland in its history at the Coliseum.

"That's a rarity for that guy," Jackson said. "I've never seen him like that before. Usually he's had my number quite a bit. He has a plus-slider, he just couldn't find it."

All-Star left-hander Gio Gonzalez (9-6) rebounded from his worst outing of the season and allowed four hits over seven innings to win for the third time in four starts.

Oakland went into the game as the second-lowest scoring team in the American League and had only 51 home runs — second-fewest in the majors — before Jackson's home run landed midway up the stands in left field.

Oakland had scored eight runs or more in a game only three times previously this season before the outburst against Los Angeles.

Pineiro, who hadn't lost since June 5, retired Kurt Suzuki on a groundout but gave up a double to Cliff Pennington and an RBI single to leadoff hitter Jemile Weeks to end his afternoon.

Oakland made it 9-0 in the third when Matsui drove in Weeks, marking only the second time this season the A's have had nine runs in a game.

Gonzalez did the rest while helping Oakland take three of four from its division rival. The A's lone representative at the All-Star game, Gonzalez recorded his first six outs by strikeout and only allowed two runners to reach second base. He finished with eight strikeouts.

Jerry Blevins relieved Gonzalez and gave up an unearned run in the ninth on Bobby Wilson's RBI single. That helped the Angels avoid what would have been their 11th shutout of the season.

Los Angeles had hoped to use the series with Oakland to build momentum for a critical three-game stretch at home against Texas beginning Tuesday.

After losing to the A's for the eighth time in 13 games this season, however, the Angels face an uphill battle against the streaking Rangers.

Notes: The Angels hadn't allowed eight runs or more in the first inning since Sept. 3, 2000. ... Matsui's three RBIs are a season high. ... Entertainer MC Hammer threw out the ceremonial first pitch and was honored with his own bobblehead doll. It was part of Oakland's '80s throwback day which included former pop star Taylor Dayne singing the national anthem.