ANAHEIM, Calif. -- A once-comfortable lead slipped away from the Angels, first subtly. Then it burned to ashes Tuesday night, with reliever Taylor Cole giving up four runs while securing only two outs in the fifth inning en route to a 10-7 loss to Pittsburgh Pirates at Angel Stadium.
"Get it together, Angels!" a fan situated somewhere behind home plate bellowed mere moments before Kole Calhoun ripped a leadoff double in the bottom of the fifth.
Get it together, the Angels did not.
Calhoun tried to heed the plea, advancing to third and tagging up on a fly ball. But he was thrown out by center fielder Starling Marte on a bang-bang play at the plate. The double play ended the Angels' fifth-inning threat and kept them down 7-5.
Justin Upton lined a single to drive in two runs in the ninth, but the Angels could not bridge the gap between themselves and a team that had also only won twice in its previous 10 games. They continued to bleed run instead.
Reliever Jake Jewell, recalled from Salt Lake before the game, hit a batter and watched him score on a double in the seventh. Bryan Reynolds, who entered the game with a .333 average that tied for second best in the major leagues, blasted a solo home run to straightaway center field to give the Pirates a 10-5 lead.
Before Jewell put the game out of reach, Cole (2-4) let a 5-3 lead slip away in the fifth. He jogged in from the bullpen and promptly surrendered a single to Marte and a home run to Josh Bell. The two-run shot erased rookie starter Griffin Canning from the game's decision.
Canning did not seem to suffer from discomfort in his right elbow, which became sore enough following his start July 30 that he landed on the injured list. He had no trouble reaching for the velocity on his 94 mph fastball. He generated six swings-and-misses and received seven called strikes on his biting slider.
But Canning allowed hard enough contact to put himself in danger. He lasted only four innings and 80 pitches and gave up six hits.
The Angels held a 4-0 advantage after two innings. David Fletcher, who entered the game with only five hits in August, picked up four hits and a walk the day after he received a game off. His leadoff double in the first sparked a three-run inning.