PITTSBURGH (AP) After losing for the fourth time in five starts, Francisco Liriano admitted the obvious.
''I'm going through a tough time right now,'' he said after the Pittsburgh Pirates lost to the Los Angeles Angels 9-2 Friday night. ''I'm not executing the pitch and getting behind in the count. I don't know. I have to keep working, keep fighting and find a way to get better.''
Liriano (4-5) gave up seven runs - six earned - 10 hits and four walks in 3 1/3 innings. He has walked 19 in his last five outings.
''We continue to work with him, and he's well aware of it. One of the easier things to do in games is identify problematic areas,'' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ''That's not that hard to contrast what's going on now to what was going on when (he was pitching) well. We need to put it in the game. That's the challenging part from the coaching standpoint.''
Pittsburgh has struck out 44 times in losing four straight games.
Jered Waever gave up back-to-back home runs to Starling Marte and Jung Ho Kang to begin the second inning. But Weaver (5-4) did not give up another run.
The 33-year-old hander allowed six hits, struck out five and walked one. He had gone 1-4 with a 6.43 ERA in his previous six starts.
''He has certainly grown as a pitcher over his career, but he's always been good at reading swings and making adjustments, even when he first came up,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''He did that tonight. That team over there is a really good offensive club. After he missed his spots in the second inning, he got back on board and made pitches.''
Calhoun, Johnny Giavotella, Yunel Escobar, Mike Trout, Carlos Perez and Shane Robinson each had two of the Angels' 14 hits. Los Angeles scored in each of the first four innings.
Trout hit an RBI single in a three-run first capped by Giavotella's two-run single, and Calhoun's RBI single made it 4-0 in the second.
After the Pirates closed to 4-2, Gregorio Petit hit an RBI double in the third and scored on Robinson's single. Calhoun homered in the fifth for a 7-2 lead, and Escobar added a two-run single in the seventh off Wilfredo Boscan.
Marte had three hits to snap a 1-for-14 skid and Kang added two.
Right-hander Tim Lincecum is scheduled to make his second start for the Angels' Triple-A Salt Lake farm club Tuesday. Scioscia said it was too soon to tell whether the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner might then be added to the major league rotation.
LONG TIME COMING
This is just the Angels' second visit to Pittsburgh since interleague play began in 1997. They played a three-game series at PNC Park from June 15-17, 2004.
Angels: SS Andrelton Simmons (torn left thumb ligament) is working out with Class A Inland Empire and could begin an injury rehabilitation assignment in the next few days. . LHP Tyler Skaggs (strained left biceps) pitched four innings Friday at extended spring training in Mesa, Arizona. . Escobar (sore left wrist) returned after missing the previous three games.
Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli (bruised right foot) and SS Jordy Mercer (bruised left elbow) did not play after getting hit by pitches in Thursday night's game at Miami. X-rays on both were negative. . CF Andrew McCutchen (inflamed right thumb) was back in the lineup, a day after leaving the game against the Marlins. . LF Gregory Polanco (sore left foot) returned to the starting lineup after sitting out Wednesday's night game at Miami and being limited to a pinch-hitting appearance Thursday night. . RHP Arqimedes Caminero (strained right quadriceps) allowed four runs in one inning Friday night as he began a rehab assignment Friday with Triple-A Indianapolis.
Angels: RHP Jhoulys Chacin (1-1, 3.42) will start in place of an ill Nick Tropeano after being originally scheduled to pitch Sunday. It will be Chacin's fifth start since the Angels acquired him May 11 from Atlanta.
Pirates: LHP Jeff Locke (4-3, 4.33) has won his last three starts, including pitching his first career shutout in his previous outing, a three-hitter at Miami on Monday.