The more familiar C.J. Wilson becomes with teams, the more dominant he is.
Wilson gave up just two hits in 7 2-3 innings Monday night
to lift the Texas Rangers to a 3-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals and
continue an incredible second-half pitching surge. He is 7-0 with a 1.99 earned
run average since the All-Star break and has the most wins in the majors during
Wilson (14-5) credits his second-half roll to the
familiarity he has gained in facing hitters throughout the year.
“Game experience against the same teams gives me the
advantage,” Wilson said. “Every team I’m facing now, I’ve faced before at some
point in the season. I’ve had the chance to prepare even more.”
Wilson allowed only a scratch hit to Willie Bloomquist
until the eighth inning when Jai Miller delivered a one-out single to center.
The left-hander, who had a complete-game win over the Royals in May, struck out
six and walked four.
The Bloomquist single was a big bouncer inside first that
Mitch Moreland couldn’t field cleanly. Asked if he would have had a problem with
the scoring decision had that prevented a no-hitter, Wilson was quick to
“Yes,” Wilson said. “That was a real hit that Miller got.
The other one was kind of like a bad-hop grounder. I was looking at it like that
was a no-hitter for me. But I still had to throw another (five) outs to get it
and I didn’t throw those outs.”
Bloomquist gave credit to Wilson for keeping the Royals
down the whole night.
“He’s just real deceptive,” Bloomquist said.
Bloomquist wasn’t about to enter a debate against whether
Wilson deserved to take a no-hitter into the eighth.
“That’s really not for me to decide,” Bloomquist said. “I
put the ball in play and try to get to first as fast as I can.”
Wilson’s outing was the longest scoreless performance by
a Texas pitcher while allowing two hits or less since Chris Young on Aug. 17,
2005. Facing Cleveland that night, Young allowed two hits over eight
Neftali Feliz worked the ninth for his 33rd save in 36
opportunities, giving Texas its third win in its last 10 road games in the
opener of a 10-game trip.
Kyle Davies (6-9) went 8 1-3 innings, allowing three runs
— two earned — on ten hits with six strikeouts and a walk.
“You’ve got to give credit to C.J.,” Davies said. “He
pitched a real good ballgame.”
The Rangers got the only run they would need in the
second. Following a leadoff double by Nelson Cruz in his first at-bat after
coming off the disabled list, Davies got David Murphy on a fly to right before
Bengie Molina hit a run-scoring single.
Texas added to its lead in the fifth on a triple by
former Royals player Andres Blanco, who went 3 for 4. Elvin Andrus added a
run-scoring single and Michael Young delivered a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Wilson issued a couple of walks in the sixth, but got
Jason Kendall on a double-play bouncer that ended the threat.
Notes: The Rangers confirmed that LHP Derek Holland will
take over the No. 5 spot in the rotation, with Rich Harden moving to the
bullpen. Holland will start in Minnesota on Friday. … Rangers manager Ron
Washington originally had Josh Hamilton in center field on Monday, but then
shuffled his lineup, with Hamilton serving as the designated hitter. Due to a
wearisome schedule in recent weeks, Washington wanted to get Hamilton off his
feet. Normal DH Vladimir Guerrero started in right field. . On the night that he
was named Texas League Player of the Year, Royals’ prospect Mike Moustakas had
11 RBIs for Triple-A Omaha against Round Rock.