The only saving grace for C.J. Wilson after another quiet night by the Los Angeles’ bats was that he won’t have to match up against Chris Sale in his next start.
Wilson gave the Halos another solid effort Friday night, allowing two runs and six hits over seven innings in his longest outing of the season. But it wasn’t enough as Sale held the Angels to three runs in 7 2-3 innings for his second 3-0 victory over Wilson in a span of six days.
Sale (5-2) threw 79 of his 113 pitches for strikes. In his previous outing, he retired his first 19 batters and settled for a one-hitter – Mike Trout’s one-out single in the seventh inning – while recording his first shutout in the major leagues.
”Sale’s been on twice in a row against us, and tonight he had 12 punchouts,” Wilson lamented. ”It’s frustrating, because I knew he’s obviously a really great pitcher.”
Wilson (3-3) lost his third straight start, it was his first outing at Angel Stadium since April 21 against Detroit, following four straight on the road.
”C.J. did a great job. I hate that we can’t score runs for him,” Angels right fielder Josh Hamilton said. ”I mean, you look at the scoreboard and see how many strikes he’s thrown compared to balls. He just keeps pounding the zone, so you want to score runs for a guy like that.”
This was the seventh time in Wilson’s three-plus seasons as a starting pitcher that he faced the same team in back-to-back starts — and only the second time he didn’t get the win in the rematch.
”I pitched against (the White Sox) five days ago, so it’s still fresh — and I have the same notes, obviously,” Wilson said. ”One of the things you do is go back and look at the mistakes you made and separate them from the other pitches. ”
Wilson gave up Alex Rios’ 10th home run with two out in the first. Paul Konerko followed with a vicious line drive back to Wilson, who caught it before spiking the ball with his glove in frustration over the homer he surrendered on an 0-2 pitch.
”I think it was the second home run I’ve given up this year on a ball, which is really frustrating,” he said. ”But if you don’t execute your pitch, you have nobody to blame but yourself. And that’s what happened right there. ”
Wilson gave up only three more hits until the seventh, when Dayan Viciedo singled with one out. Chicago manager Robin Ventura played hit-and run with Jeff Keppinger to stay away from a potential inning-ending double play, and Viciedo pulled into second as Keppinger grounded out to third. Conor Gillaspie followed with an RBI single.
Sale extended his scoreless streak to 23 innings, helping Chicago extend its winning streak to four games.
”I felt the same as I did the last one. I felt like I had the same stuff,” said Sale, who made back-to-back starts against the same team for the first time. ”There were more hard-hit balls, so that was the difference. I got a little bit lucky tonight.
”A team like this, they’ve got some amazing ballplayers. So you’ve got to make adjustments,” Sale added. ”It’s never easy facing a team in back-to-back starts. As many adjustments as I’m making, they’re going to make as well. You just put the work in, go in with determination and see how it turns out.”
Sale is 10-0 with a 2.55 ERA against AL West teams.
”It’s nothing unbelievable. It’s just deception. That’s all it is,” said Hamilton, the only left-handed batter in the starting lineup against Sale. ”Basically, the ball comes out of the second baseman and just shows up halfway to the plate, and you’ve got to figure out what it is and try to swing at it.”
Adam Dunn ended the scoring with his 10th homer of the season and fourth in four games against Garrett Richards in the ninth. Addison Reed pitched a perfect ninth for his 14th save in 15 chances.
NOTES: Wilson is 2-5 with a no-decision in eight career starts when he’s allowed a first-inning homer. … Angels 3B Alberto Callaspo was 0 for 3 in his second career game as a designated hitter. … Hamilton was 0 for 3 against Sale. Left-handed hitters are 3 for 52 against him this season. … The Angels got one hit over the final 5 2-3 innings, a single by No.9 hitter Luis Jimenez that ended his 0-for-13 drought.