C.J. Wilson Takes the Mound to Begin Final Homestand

By Jose Serrano
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Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Ten games. That’s all that remain on the Angels’ home schedule.

Ten more treks on the 57 freeway to Angel Stadium. Ten more tailgates under The Big A; the Orange County landmark that’s lit up 91 times this season. Most importantly, 10 more chances for Halo fans can watch the winningest team in the Majors inch closer to their first AL West crown since 2009.

The Angels’ magic number is seven heading into this weekend’s series with Houston. With any luck, a division crown come in front of the home crowd. They’ve riled off a season-high eight wins in a row behind stellar pitching and an offensive eruption.

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Josh Hamilton sat out a majority of the trip with shoulder soreness and Huston Street battled through a hamstring injury, but the setbacks did little to inhibit the team’s run. The Halos averaged 8.8 runs per game while allowing four or less in all but two of their victories on the streak.

A 7-3 win over Texas last night was fitting. Everything that could go right did. Cory Rasmus yielded a leadoff home run before shutting down the Rangers’ offense through 3 1/3 innings. His relievers scattered a few runs but couldn’t keep up with Los Angeles’ clutch hitting. Erick Aybar homered, Kole Calhoun notched an RBI single, and David Freese and Grant Green came through with two-run singles of their own.

Now, they get to do it in front of their own fans. And they’ll have ten chances to do so.

Then again, the playoffs are just around the corner.

Pitching Matchup C.J. Wilson (11-9, 4.64 ERA) vs. Brett Oberholtzer (5-10, 4.38 ERA)

C.J. Wilson surrendered four runs over 6 1/3 innings in Minnesota last Sunday. Hardly the sign of consistency he’s been looking for.

Wilson has given up three or more runs in each of his last three starts, including the opener of the just completed road trip. Houston tagged him for three runs on seven hits last Tuesday, bolstering their batting average to .333 against the left-hander this season. He holds a 8.35 ERA and 1.80 WHIP against the division rival in four starts.

The Astros counter with Brett Oberholtzer whose faced the Angels once this season. It’s a start he’d rather forget.

The Halos collected five runs on nine hits against Oberholtzer behind Freese, Mike Trout, and Howie Kendrick’s multi-hit efforts. The right had lost three straight decisions before beating Oakland at O.co Coliseum last Friday.

Walk offs:

  1. The Angels outscored Texas 92-54 in 10 games at Globe Life Park this season.
  2. Calhoun had 15 hits, three home runs, and 11 runs scored on the road trip, raising his batting average to .283
  3. Houston’s Chris Carter lead the Majors in home runs (23) since the beginning of July.

TV: 7:05 p.m. PT, Fox Sports West, CSN

Radio: KLAA 830, KBME 790

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