C.J. Wilson Takes Two-Game Skid into Opener Against Twins

By Jose Serrano

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball’s best home team over the last month won a three-game set with Texas last weekend, outscoring the division rival 15-7. With their first sweep of the Rangers since 2008, the Los Angeles Angels are 8-1 at Angel Stadium in June and have won 12 of their last 14 home games.

It’s as if Yu Darvish and Matt Shoemaker traded places Sunday Afternoon. Texas’ ace-among the AL leaders in strikeouts and ERA-was shelled for four runs through six innings. Shoemaker, meanwhile, improved to 5-1 with a one run, six strikeout performance.

The right-hander’s undefeated mark and 3.65 ERA since being recall from Triple-A Salt Lake only solidify his status in the team’s starting rotation.

More from LA Angels News

Raul Ibanez’s release late last week only emphasized C.J. Cron’s impact in limited playing time. The 24-year-old first baseman homered for the third straight game in Sunday’s win raised his slugging percentage to .536. Instilling more confidence in Cron was a result of Mike Scioscia’s decision to start him throughout the series.

Pitching MatchupC.J. Wilson (7-6, 3.34 ERA) vs. Kyle Gibson (6-5, 3.25 ERA)

The run support C.J. Wilson enjoyed early in 2014 is gone. He’s received 2.6 runs per game over his last five starts dating back to a May 28 loss in Seattle. Wilson hasn’t done much to help his cause in the span, posting a 4.11 ERA while averaging three walks per. The good news for Wilson comes in an Angels offense that’s on a roll after dismantled Texas.

After suffering back-to-back losses, the left-hander limited Cleveland to one run on three hits in seven frames last Thursday. Wilson didn’t pick up a win- Ernesto Frieri gave up walk-off grand slam- but yielded his lowest run total since his complete game shutout of Tampa Bay May 17.

Wilson is 4-3 with a 4.25 ERA lifetime against the Twins, though he hasn’t faced the Twinkies since 2012.

Kyle Gibson carries a 22-inning scoreless streak into Anaheim. Because of Minnesota’s lackluster offense, Gibson has settled for a no-decision in three scoreless outings his year, including a masterful shutdown of the Red Sox last Wednesday. The last run Gibson allowed a run was June 2.

Walk offs:

  1. Josh Hamilton is batting .400 over the last nine games.
  2. Joe Mauer holds a .071 batting average against Wilson, the lowest off a pitcher he’s faced at least 20 times.
  3. Minnesota won five of six meeting last season, including two at the Big A.

TV: 7:05 p.m. PT, Fox Sports West, Fox Sports North (Minnesota)

Radio: KLAA 830, 96.3 K-TWIN, TIBN