While that advice resonated with Bass, his execution of it fell short Friday, as the A's blitzed him and the rest of the Padres for five first-inning runs en route to a 10-2 victory before a crowd of 24,528 at Oakland Coliseum.
Bass, who is now 0-3 with no-decisions and an 8.89 ERA in his past five starts, began the game by walking the first two batters he faced -- Coco Crisp and Jemile Weeks.
"Out of the chute, he got full counts on the first two lefties and couldn't execute a 3-2 strike. ... That got him behind the eight ball," said Padres manager Bud Black. "Today, it came down to command of the fastball and his secondary pitches were a little erratic."
It all went downhill from there, as Bass then allowed a two-run triple to Josh Reddick and, three batters later, a two-run home run to Brandon Moss.
"I was trying to get ahead and I didn't," Bass said. "I couldn't get strike one that first inning and I fell behind."
All told, Bass (2-7) allowed seven earned runs on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He's allowed 26 earned runs in his past 26 1/3 innings.
"It's not fun not doing well," Bass said. "When I have confidence I feel I can get anyone out. Right now, I feel like I've lost it [confidence]."
The Padres (23-42), coming off a series sweep of the Mariners in Seattle, looked like they might have a chance to stay with or close to the A's (30-35) in the early going.
The Padres got two hits and a walk in the first inning, including an RBI single by Carlos Quentin. Then in the second inning, Alexi Amarista tripled into the right-field corner and scored on Chris Denorfia's RBI single. Quentin later added a double, his first extra-base hit since June 5.
But that was essentially it offensively for the Padres, as A's pitcher Travis Blackley (1-2), retired 12 of the last 14 batters he faced in winning for the first time since 2004.
"That was awesome," Blackley said. "Any time you get some runs to play with, it makes it a little more relaxed out there."
Blackley, a left-hander, allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts in six innings.
"I still felt like we had some decent at-bats but the results weren't there," Denorfia said. "[Blackley] was effective in missing barrels and getting us out."
It wasn't a good night all-around for the Padres, who committed two errors and had just one hit after the second inning.
As for Bass, he's determined to turn around this rough patch.
"I'm going to find a way out of it," he said.
The Padres seem determined to allow him to do that. Black said he hasn't seen depreciation in the pure stuff that Bass offers. His velocity hasn't suffered, either.
"There's enough good things going on there," Black said. "He's pitched 100-plus innings [in his career]. That's not a lot. There's still a big learning curve there. There's some hard knocks along the way.
"But through all this, there's experience being gathered. In the long run, he'll be better off for it."