C.J. Wilson Makes First Career Start Against Braves
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
As nice as a three-game sweep of Oakland sounds, taking two out of three from the division leader was just as good for the Los Angeles Angels.
Both teams finished with 10 hits in Oakland’s 7-1 win Wednesday night, but the Angels were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base. The most dominant pitching staff in the American League-leaders in ERA, quality starts, and WHIP- held the Halos to 2.3 runs per game but didn’t receive much support from their own stagnant offense.
The Angels became the first team to hold Oakland to one run or less in consecutive starts with their victories on Monday and Tuesday, dwindling their AL West deficit to 3 1/2.
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Since 2007, the Halos have a Major League best 90-46 record in interleague play. That doesn’t bode well for the Atlanta Braves, especially after having lost six of their last nine. The teams meet for the first time since 2011 when Los Angeles took two out of three at the Big A.
Pitching Matchup– C.J. Wilson (7-5, 3.32 ERA) vs. Aaron Harang (4-5, 3.33 ERA)
C.J. Wilson has never faced Atlanta, but then again he’s never shied away from a National League opponent. The southpaw is 7-2 with a 3.50 ERA in over 100 innings since 2010. On April 13, Wilson earned his second win of the season by holding the New York Mets two runs on six hits in an Angels 14-2 victory.
That momentum has carried throughout 2014 as Wilson has allowed three runs or fewer in all but three outings. He yielded a run on three hits last Sunday as the Halos completed a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox.
Opposing Wilson is MLB journeyman Aaron Harang who-as a Mariner- lost all four outings against the Angels last season, dropping his record to 0-5 in seven starts against them. He gave up a total of 20 run on 35 hits for a 10.38 ERA before his release in September.
Consistency has kept Harang in Atlanta’s starting rotation. He’s tossed six or more innings in all but two outings, giving up three runs or less in 11 of those games. Harang walked a season-high six batters in Arizona last Sunday in the Braves 6-5 loss.
- Josh Hamilton is batting .440 over the last week, going 11-for-25 with three doubles and six RBIs.
- The Angels and Braves have split their last six meetings, dating back to 2008.
- Harang has faced Albert Pujols more than any other major leaguer, giving up 27 hits, five home runs, and 16 RBIs over 85 plate appearances.
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