If Monday didn't represent rock bottom for the Angels, it's going to be a very long summer.
A night after getting routed by division-leading Texas, the last-place Angels slipped deeper into the abyss by suffering their major league-leading eighth shutout — a 5-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics compounded by the troubling absence of their most uplifting player.
A's starter Tyson Ross, who began the night with a 7.71 earned-run average, threw six shutout innings while retiring Albert Pujols three times and allowing just one Angel to reach third base.
"This team's too good to be shut out as much as it's getting shut out," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's going to be a grind. There's only one way out of the hole: to scratch and claw. Pitch by pitch."
Monday's frustration was exacerbated because Torii Hunter was missing.
The right fielder, who leads the Angels in runs, was placed on the restricted list indefinitely before the game for what the team said were "personal reasons."
Hunter's 17-year-old son, Darius McClinton-Hunter, was arrested along with four high school classmates from Prosper, Texas, on Monday on suspicion of sexually assaulting a child, a second-degree felony.
Meanwhile, Angels starter Dan Haren, typically a model of control, walked four and hit a batter in six innings. He also gave up a home run to Josh Reddick and key doubles to Seth Smith.
Haren (1-4) remained winless at Angel Stadium since Sept. 10 of last season, and the Angels astoundingly haven't scored a run for the sturdy right-hander in 202/3 innings.
"I can't point fingers," Haren said. "I've got to be better."
The A's took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Haren's 1-2 pitch to Reddick was slammed over the right-field wall.
Macier Izturis opened his three-hit night with a single and stole second base in the bottom of the inning.
The scoring opportunity vanished when Pujols grounded out to third and cleanup hitter Kendrys Morales had a hard grounder knocked down by Oakland first baseman Daric Barton.
Oakland added a fourth-inning run when Smith hit a one-out double, took third on a wild pitch and came home on Josh Donaldon's
lineout to right field.
Haren walked just 33 in 238 innings last season, but in a season marked by unrealized expectation, he was uncharacteristically wild.
He walked three through four innings, then turned his back to the plate in frustration after hitting leadoff batter Jemile Weeks to start the fifth.
A Cliff Pennington single moved Weeks to third, and Haren intentionally walked Reddick to load the bases.
With one out, Smith again doubled off Haren — a two-run hit to right that made it 4-0.
Ross (2-3) retired eight consecutive batters into the fifth, and the Angels stranded two men in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings.