While a majority of the Los Angeles Angels’ everyday players already broke camp in preparation for this weekend’s exhibition Freeway Series, a few stayed behind to wrap up the Cactus League schedule. One such player was C.J. Wilson who stymied Oakland A’s batters through seven innings in a 6-2 Angels victory Wednesday.
The Angels’ projected No. 2 starter continues his stellar spring, giving up one unearned run on four hits. More telling were the seven strikeouts and two walks he scattered. The only Athletic run he allowed came on a fielding error by first baseman C.J. Cron that let John Jaso reach base in the third inning. Jaso eventually scored on a sacrifice fly.
Wilson leaves spring training with a 2-2 record and a miniscule 1.88 ERA through five games. These numbers rarely, if ever, translate into the regular season, but given his 7.11 ERA last March, Wilson appears more prepared this year.
With Hank Conger and John McDonald filling two of four reserve roles, Wednesday’s game was vital to utility players hoping to join the team in California. Matt Long, the biggest surprise to come out of Tempe, led off the scoring with a third inning sac fly that scored Cron. Grant Green and Brennan Bosch hit back-to-back homers in the seventh inning to give the Halos a 4-1 lead.
Fresh off his 3-5 day against the Chicago Cubs, Ian Stewart added an RBI and run scored to his spring numbers. Stewart’s seventh inning single raised his batting average to .311 through 21 games and solidified his status as a dependable bench candidate. His bat could prove useful in a pinch-hitting role this season, given McDonald’s defensive-minded style of play.
The Angels’ annual tussle with the Los Angeles Dodgers begins tomorrow night at Dodger Stadium. Chavez Ravine hosts the first two games with the series finale at Angels Stadium Saturday night.