ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Pitching in a familiar stadium near his year-round home, Jerome Williams got off to a solid start with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Those good feelings evaporated right after he left the mound and his bullpen got pounded by the Los Angeles Angels.
Kole Calhoun homered and had an RBI single during a seven-run sixth inning, and the Angels’ struggling offense rebounded for a 7-2 victory Tuesday night.
Williams pitched five-hit ball into the sixth inning of his debut, showing his customary resilience in his first start for his seventh major league team. Philadelphia picked him up off waivers Sunday from Texas, but he spent the past three seasons with the Angels, revitalizing his major league career.
”I don’t think that it’s like an audition or anything like that,” said Williams, who lives in nearby Mission Viejo. ”All I’m thinking about is going out there and performing, and whatever the team wants me to do, I’ll do.”
Byrd and Ryan Howard drove in early runs for the last-place Phillies, who blew a two-run lead while falling to 4-9 in interleague play.
David Freese had a two-run double during the lengthy sixth-inning rally, which propelled Los Angeles to just its second win in seven games. Calhoun bookended the rally with two of his three hits for the Angels, who had scored just nine runs in the previous 61 innings for a club that led the majors in scoring at the All-Star break.
”It’s nice to bust out like that, and it hopefully gets us rolling,” said Calhoun, who has four straight multihit games. ”This is a talented offense up and down. It’s going to turn around.”
Calhoun sneaked his first homer since July 20 inside the right-field pole leading off the sixth, and Howie Kendrick drove home Albert Pujols with a tying single off Antonio Bastardo (5-6).
Marlon Byrd then badly overran pinch-hitter Collin Cowgill’s fly down the line, allowing it to bounce behind him for a ground-rule double.
”I think the wall came into play there,” Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg said. ”He had to go so far and it was sneaking up on him. It’s right up there in the corner, not much room. It was a tough spot for him.”
The Angels made it comfortable for C.J. Wilson (9-8), who pitched into the seventh inning of his first victory since June 24, yielding seven hits and two walks. He was winless in his last five starts, with an injury absence in the middle.
”It’s still not there,” Wilson said. ”I was just trying to control the rhythm of the game and not overthrow it.”
The Phillies visited Anaheim for the first time since 2003, and they’re likely grateful they don’t make it to the Big A regularly. Philadelphia has lost eight straight to the Angels over the last 12 seasons, getting outscored 37-14 by a team known as the Anaheim Angels back when the streak started. The skid is the Phillies’ longest against any opponent.
Not everything went well in the sixth for the Angels. Mike Trout struck out twice, extending his 4-for-25 homestand struggles. He has high-priced company, too: Josh Hamilton is in a 2-for-23 slump on this homestand, while Pujols is 5 for 26.
Angels: Reliever Mike Morin threw a bullpen session. He could return from the disabled list Saturday.
Phillies: A.J. Burnett (6-12, 4.29) starts the series finale.
Angels: Jered Weaver (12-7, 3.68) pitches two days after his daughter’s birth.