C.J. Wilson’s first start against his old team was a short one. He won’t have to wait very long for another opportunity.
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Wilson’s much-anticipated return to Texas and a matchup against Yu Darvish was done after only five batters. He didn’t return after a one-hour, 56-minute rain delay in the first inning of the Los Angeles Angels’ 10-3 loss Friday night.
Instead of remaining in the series opener, Wilson (4-3) is scheduled to start again on Saturday.
”We weighed a lot of things and when the rain delay progressed, we felt that it was going to be too long,” manager Mike Scioscia said. ”Two hours is too long for C.J. to go back out, and he felt really strong that he could come back and start (Saturday), and we felt that was the best option. We’ll see how he does.”
Texas led 1-0 and had the bases loaded before play was stopped as the rain was starting to fall.
Without throwing another pitch, Wilson was charged with three more runs.
Jerome Williams, who was scheduled to start Saturday’s game, replaced Wilson on the mound after the delay. Nelson Cruz grounded a two-run single through the left side of the infield on the first pitch. Michael Young, who walked to load the bases before play was stopped, scored on a fielder’s choice to make it 4-0.
”We got a couple of ground balls. We gave them five outs in that inning, so a good team’s going to take advantage of it,” Scioscia said. ”Those guys did a good job with guys in scoring position and set the tone in that first inning for sure.”
The game ended just after midnight, about 12 hours before Saturday’s game.
Wilson struck out Ian Kinsler to start the bottom of the first, but that was the only out he got.
Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre followed with consecutive infield singles for a 1-0 lead. Then Young walked before the heavy rain came.
Hamilton had three hits and belted two more drives for his second multihomer game this week. The other was Tuesday night in Baltimore, when he became only the 16th major leaguer with a four-homer game.
Yu Darvish (5-1) returned to the mound after the rain stopped, and struck out seven while pitching into the sixth inning.
The 25-year-old Japanese right-hander, signed by the Rangers after they let Wilson go in free agency, threw his 93rd and final pitch four hours after his first one.
”Yu pitched great. I was proud of him coming back out there and sticking it out, doing what he’s got to do,” Hamilton said. ”That says to his teammates about him as a player and a competitor to go back out and do that.”
Mike Trout hit a two-run homer in the third after Darvish walked No. 9 batter Bobby Wilson. Torii Hunter snapped an 0-for-21 slide in the sixth with a solo shot, his fifth.
Mitch Moreland also homered for Texas in the seventh, when Rangers fans started chanting ”We want C.J.!” with a rhythmic clap.
Hamilton, who is eligible for free agency after the season, leads the majors with his .407 batting average, 17 homers and 40 RBIs. He has eight homers his last five games.
The Rangers, citing baseballreference.com, said Hamilton is only the third player since 1918 with 17 homers in his team’s first 33 games, and he missed three of those with back stiffness. The others were Cy Williams for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1923 and Frank Howard for the Washington Senators in 1968.
Darvish, coming off his first loss Sunday at Cleveland, walked three and gave up three hits. During the rain delay, he kept throwing every 15 minutes.
”He wanted to pitch. He said he showed up today to pitch. He didn’t show up today to go out there for one inning and call it quits,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. ”He was mentally prepared to pitch against the Angels.”
NOTES: Wilson had allowed only four earned runs over 20 innings in his previous three road starts this year. … Albert Pujols, who hit three homers for St. Louis in Game 3 of the World Series in Texas last October, finished 0 for 4. He is hitting .192 with one homer and 11 RBIs in 32 games with the Angels. … Hamilton and Andrus both have 11-game hitting streaks. … Texas (22-11) has the best record in the majors, and equaled its best 33-game start in franchise history. … The Angels (14-19) had won four of five and eight of 11.