Featherston hits 1st HR, Wilson strong in Angels' rout of D-backs
The Los Angeles Angels got another strong start from C.J. Wilson and offense from someone other than Mike Trout or Albert Pujols.
Thursday was the kind of day that makes manager Mike Scioscia feel good about the coming weeks.
Wilson struck out a season-high nine in his second straight strong outing, Taylor Featherston hit his first major league home run and the Angels beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-1 to split the four-game interleague series.
The first two games were played in Anaheim, the last two in Phoenix.
Wilson (5-5), after throwing seven scoreless innings in his previous start, gave up one run and scattered eight hits in eight innings. The left-hander didn't walk anyone.
Scioscia's only criticism was Wilson's head-first slide when the pitcher tried to stretch a single into a double but was tagged out on a throw from right fielder Yasmany Tomas.
''Those kinds of slides are the slides that end careers if it's on the wrong side,'' Scioscia said.
But, the manager said, Wilson was ''athletic enough to pull it off.''
Wilson made no apologies.
''He made a perfect throw and I was out,'' he said. ''I tried to do like a Mike Trout turbo slide but he nicked me on the elbow.''
Wilson said he loves to play all aspects of the game, including hitting and baserunning.
''If you're a bad athlete, then you're not going to try something like that,'' he said. ''I'm just going to say I'm a good athlete so every time I get on base I'm either going to try to advance on a groundball or a wild pitch or break up a double play. It's the way I've always played.''
Featherston and Johnny Giavotella each hit solo homers in the third off Allen Webster (1-1), making his second big league start.
Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt was 0 for 4 and struck out three times, failing to reach base for the first time in 28 games. It had been the longest active streak in the majors.
''You look at his numbers. He's hitting .360 with a .500 on-base percentage,'' Wilson said. ''I was I guess fortunate to have really good run support today so I had a chance to challenge him. He wants to hit, he's a great hitter. I got him to chase a couple of pitches today. I don't think he's going to do that very often.''
Carlos Perez had a two-run double and Efren Navarro a two-run single in the Angels' five-run sixth inning. Trout tripled in the inning's other run.
Webster was rocked for six runs on five hits and walked five, one intentional, in 5 1-3 innings. He left with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth. Josh Collmenter, who lost his rotation spot to Webster, came in and gave up the big hits to Navarro and Perez.
For the eighth time since they were 8-8 on April 24, the Diamondbacks failed in a bid to reach .500.
''I don't think anybody is thinking about that,'' manager Chip Hale said. ''We just didn't play well enough today and they did. It's just the way it goes. You get beat some days.''
Arizona had cut the Los Angeles lead to 2-1 with consecutive doubles by David Peralta and Nick Ahmed in the fifth.
Featherston, who entered the game hitting .083 in 36 at-bats, lined an 0-1 pitch into the left field seats.
''I had my head down and was thinking extra bases,'' he said, ''and I looked up and the umpire raised his finger and starts doing the little twirly. You know you're getting into the trot. I'm just very thankful and blessed. It was a good day.''
Angels: RHP Cory Rasmus, on the 60-day DL and yet to play this season after undergoing abdominal surgery, begins a rehab assignment this week.
Diamondbacks: RHP Archie Bradley (shoulder tendinitis) pitched a simulated game on Thursday.
Angels: Los Angeles opens a three-game series in Oakland on Friday night, starting Matt Shoemaker (4-5, 4.85 ERA) vs. RHP Sonny Gray (8-3, 1.60), the major league ERA leader.
Diamondbacks: The five-game homestand continues with the series opener against San Diego on Friday, Arizona's first game against the Padres since Pat Murphy, former coach at Arizona State, became their interim manager. Arizona goes with RHP Rubby De La Rosa (5-3, 5.27), who tossed eight scoreless innings in his last start. The Diamondbacks try to hand RHP James Shields (7-0, 3.59) his first loss of the season.