For C.J. Wilson and the Los Angeles Angels, this was pretty close to a complete game.
Wilson beat the Yankees for the first time in his career, Albert Pujols and his teammates teed off and the Angels romped past New York 7-1 Saturday.
Howie Kendrick, Chris Iannetta and Vernon Wells homered as the Angels ended their three-game skid and stopped New York’s winning streak at four.
”We have a couple new pieces and we’re just looking to jell,” Wilson said.
Add in a spotless effort by the bullpen plus some nice fielding plays and this looked like the powerful Angels club many people predicted.
”I think we’re scratching the surface of what we can do,” manager Mike Scioscia said.
Pujols got in the swing, too, after a quiet start with his new team. He singled sharply his first time up, then hit an RBI double that one-hopped the center-field wall. He later lined out twice and flied out to the fence in left.
The three-time NL MVP is still looking for his first home run of the year. He hasn’t connected in eight games — that matches his longest homer drought at the start of a season, also done in 2008 with St. Louis.
”The thing we don’t want to do is put too much pressure on yourself,” Pujols said.
Wilson (2-0) effectively pitched inside and worked out of frequent trouble, allowing only one run in six innings. He gave up back-to-back singles to start the game and stranded runners at second and third in each of his last three innings.
Wilson, who along with Pujols signed a rich free-agent deal in the offseason, had been 0-3 lifetime against the Yankees. That spanned 21 games, four of them starts.
”I don’t know if it’s about anybody having to own up to any contract,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Los Angeles had lost five of its previous six games, with poor starts a major culprit. Wilson provided the key pitches — as he did in his debut against Minnesota — and delivered yet another quality performance on the road.
”I think he got us to chase some pitches off the plate inside, and that’s what he does,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. ”He can get you to expand the zone and he can break bats and get in on guys. When he got the ball away, we hit pretty good, but when he got it in, we did not.”
The Angels backed Wilson with big hits, most of them off Phil Hughes (0-2). The three home runs equaled their total from the entire season.
Iannetta put them ahead with his first AL homer, a two-run slice inside the right-field foul pole in the second. Pujols made it 3-0 with his double and Kendrick, a longtime Yankees nemesis, finished Hughes with a three-run homer in the fourth. Kendrick got three hits.
Hughes drew a smattering of boos when he walked off the mound. An All-Star in 2010, he struggled last year and went just 4 2-3 innings last weekend in his first start against Tampa Bay. With Michael Pineda and Andy Pettitte expected to rejoin the Yankees at some point, Hughes’ spot in the rotation isn’t assured.
Wells hit his 250th career home run in the fifth, connecting against reliever David Phelps for a 7-0 lead.
Phelps had started his major league career this year by retiring 13 straight batters before Wells homered. That was the lone hit Phelps gave up in 5 1-3 innings.
Robinson Cano singled home a run in the Yankees fifth for his first RBI of the season.
NOTES: Yankees OF Brett Gardner did not play while slowed by flulike symptoms. … Angels cleanup man Kendrys Morales doesn’t have an RBI in 30 at-bats this season. … Angels closer Jordan Walden pitched the ninth. It was his second appearance of the year. … Angels RHP Jerome Williams (left hamstring) is set to come off the disabled list and start Sunday vs. the Yankees. The Angels optioned LHP Brad Mills to Triple-A Salt Lake after the game. Mills was promoted from the minors earlier in the day. … Top Yankees prospect LHP Manny Banuelos is on the disabled list in Triple-A with back trouble. He’s been wild and ineffective in two starts.