Pitching at home versus on the road has made a world of difference for C.J. Wilson, who surely can’t wait to get back on the mound at Angel Stadium.
The Chicago White Sox, meanwhile, likely can’t wait to leave town.
After the Los Angeles Angels pulled off a wild comeback, Wilson tries to help them complete a three-game sweep of the White Sox on Sunday.
Wilson (6-5, 3.52 ERA) is coming off his shortest outing since September 2012, yielding five runs and a season-high five walks over 2 2-3 innings in Tuesday’s 7-2 loss at Houston.
"You’re going to have a game like this every two years or something like that," said Wilson, who expects to be OK for Sunday after battling the flu. "Sometimes the balls find holes, and sometimes you can’t find the strike zone. It’s been pretty rare for me to have a game like that, but there it was."
While Wilson dropped to 1-4 with a 5.60 ERA over his last five road starts, he’s gone 4-0 with a 1.64 ERA in his last five at home. He has lost his last three outings against the White Sox despite a 3.12 ERA while receiving no offensive support.
The Angels (33-28) took the series opener 8-4 on Friday and won 6-5 in stunning fashion Saturday. Chicago’s Chris Sale took a three-hit shutout into the eighth inning before Mike Trout tied the game with a grand slam, and Erick Aybar capped a six-run rally with a two-out RBI single five batters later.
"That’s why he’s the best in the league," Sale said of Trout. "They’re fighters. No one in this league gives up. They’re professionals. They’re big leaguers. It doesn’t get any easier. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done up until then, it matters how you finish it, and they finished it."
Trout has a .413 average with four homers and 15 RBIs in his last 13 games.
"We needed a victory like this," said Trout, whose team has won eight of 10 at home. "We never quit. Down 5-0 we could easily just put our heads down and stop fighting, but you never know. Everybody contributed."
Chicago (31-32) has dropped four straight and 10 of 13 at Angel Stadium, and now is on the verge of being swept in a three-game series for the first time this year. Cuban sensation Jose Abreu went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts Saturday, giving him 21 in his last 45 at-bats.
The White Sox will try to bounce back behind Jose Quintana (3-5, 3.31). The left-hander has gone 1-4 with a 3.47 ERA over his last six road starts while receiving a combined 11 runs of support.
Quintana threw five scoreless innings opposite Clayton Kershaw on Monday before giving up five unearned runs in the sixth in a 5-2 defeat at Dodger Stadium.
"I pitched really good, but sometimes I don’t have control of situation," Quintana said after Chicago committed three errors behind him. "I just kept focusing on the next batter. I lost a good chance I had to win this game, but that’s baseball. Maybe next time the guys will make good plays for me."
Quintana has gone 0-2 with a 3.57 ERA in three starts versus Los Angeles while getting a total five runs of support. Albert Pujols and Trout are a combined 5 for 15 with two homers against him.
White Sox right fielder Dayan Viciedo, 0 for 21 in five games this month, is 1 for 6 against Wilson. Gordon Beckham, Alejandro De Aza and Adam Dunn are a combined 2 for 21 against the left-hander.
Dunn has homered in three straight games, giving him five and 11 RBIs during a 10-game stretch on the road.