Skaggs shoulders blame for record steals

Skaggs shoulders blame for record steals

CLEVELAND -- In a double-digit loss, there can be many factors contributing to the lopsided score. But in Friday's 13-3 loss to the Indians, Angels left-handed starter Tyler Skaggs wasted no time afterward to shoulder the blame.

"This loss is on me today," Skaggs said. "We put runs up early, and I couldn't capitalize. It's on me, I have to be better."

With the loss, the Angels have now lost eight games in a row. It is the first such streak as a franchise since a nine-game skid in August and September 1999. During that stretch, the last four losses came at the hands of the Tribe in Cleveland. Then-manager Terry Collins resigned following the slump.

In the current 2016 skid, the Halos have dropped consecutive games to the Indians at Progressive Field by double-digit margins.

"It's frustrating," Skaggs said. "Nobody wants to come suited up and lose. But we are not cutting any corners. We are coming here and working our [tails] off. We are trying to win ballgames."

The latest lopsided loss was heavily influenced by Cleveland's run game. The Indians swiped eight bags, tying a franchise record, last accomplished in 1917. For the Angels, it was the first time in club history an opposing team recorded that many base thefts.

"Obviously, controlling the running game got away from him," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We are going to have to make adjustments, and he will."

Los Angeles struck first for the second straight night when right fielder Kole Calhoun went the distance on a solo shot to right-center. Later in the frame, Albert Pujols plated Mike Trout on an RBI single to take a 2-0 lead.

Pujols' RBI single

In the home half of the inning, Indians center fielder Rajai Davis led off with a walk in an 11-pitch at-bat after falling behind 0-2 in the count. Davis then proceeded to steal second and third to set the tone early. He would eventually score to halve the deficit.

"I feel like we could have won today and it's on me," Skaggs said. "We scored runs early and had a nice little cushion. I came out and didn't throw up a zero, so it's frustrating."

Though Skaggs shouldered all of the blame, catcher Geovany Soto doesn't completely agree. The backstop prides himself on his defense, having thrown out 29 percent (6-for-21) of baserunners entering Friday's contest.

Before yielding eight swipes, the Angels were tied for sixth-best at preventing stolen bases with a 37 percent (35-of-94) success rate on the year.

"I take pride in what I do," Soto said. "I need to make better throws and throw people out. They are runners. I take pride in my defense. I should have at least thrown a couple of them out."

Regardless of whose fault it is, everyone agrees an adjustment will be made. Skaggs knows that teams will be looking to take advantage on the basepaths going forward.

"I'm going to watch a lot of video this week," Skaggs said. "Come back and I can almost guarantee you [that] Seattle is going to try to steal a lot, so I'll be ready for it."

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Angels on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.