C.J. Wilson knew he didn’t have his best stuff last week. Following Jered Weaver’s uninspiring Opening Day outing, he tanked against the Seattle Mariners to the tune of six runs in less than six innings.
On Monday, Wilson turned a corner and blanked the Houston Astros through 7 2/3 innings in leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 9-1 victory. The 33-year-old pitcher earns his first win on the young season and gives the Halos momentum heading into a two-game series with the Seattle Mariners.
Ever in control, Wilson’s was in sync throughout his eight-inning performance, scattering four hits and allowing only one walk. By the time Astros catcher Carlos Corporan took Wilson deep in the eight, the Angels left-hander was already over the 110-pitch mark.
An Angels offense that was stonewalled by Scott Feldman on Sunday broke through for three first-inning runs in the series finale. Kole Calhoun and Josh Hamilton walked, and Albert Pujols reached on a fielder’s choice leading Astros starter Jarred Cosart to receive a coaching visit.
Raul Ibanez grounded out, scoring Calhoun from third and Howie Kendrick singled to right field scoring the remaining runners. Ibanez and Kendrick combined for three hits and six RBIs. More impressive was Hamilton’s day at the plate. The co-American League Player of the Week maintained his .500 batting average and walked three times for the first time since 2009.
Calhoun added a solo home run in the fifth inning to go along with two walks. Offense has been hard to come by for the young right fielder, who is batting .179 through seven games.
The Angels improve to 3-4 and quell the frenzy resulting from last week’s sweep at the hands of the Mariners.