The Angels will need both to keep performing exceptionally as
their season unfolds.
Wilson carried a shutout into the eighth inning while designated
hitter Hamilton recorded his first three-walk game in nearly five
years to help the Angels provide Wilson ample run support in a 9-1
victory on Monday at Minute Maid Park that clinched the four-game
series for Los Angeles.
The Angels took three of four from Houston after starting the season
Wilson (1-1) improved to 3-1 with a 1.99 ERA in 11 career
appearances (five starts) in Houston. Before surrendering a two-out
home run to Astros catcher Carlos Corporan in the eighth inning,
Wilson had allowed only a pair of one-out doubles — to left fielder
Jesus Guzman in the second inning and first baseman Chris Carter in
the fifth — and had retired 10 consecutive batters.
Wilson allowed two of his four hits and his lone walk in the eighth
while his pitch count built to 120. He finished with seven
strikeouts and had full command of his repertoire, with his
change-up especially effective.
"You look forward to pitching in certain scenarios," Wilson said.
"It was a beautiful day today and I have a lot of family and friends
here so it's easy for me to feel comfortable here. I've been playing
here for so many years between playing against them with the (Texas)
Rangers in interleague and now that they're in the division
(American League West). It's a place that I like pitching here in
the stadium for whatever reason but I don't think there's anything
particularly magical to it at all."
The Angels (3-4) spotted Wilson a 3-0 lead before he took the mound,
taking advantage of Astros right-hander Jarred Cosart (1-1) and his
command woes. Cosart allowed just one hit in his 32-pitch first
inning. But the two-run single by second baseman Howie Kendrick came
after Cosart issued walks to right fielder Kole Calhoun and
Hamilton, and first baseman Albert Pujols reached on a fielder's
"The first inning is supposed to be your easiest inning," Cosart
said. "You're coming out of the bullpen, everything is supposed to
feel in synch. I felt pretty in synch coming out of the bullpen. I
just felt like I couldn't wake up, couldn't get going and then
obviously that showed in the leadoff walk which is obviously the
worst thing you can do."
Cosart did not issue a free pass in his season debut last Wednesday
against the New York Yankees. He walked four on Monday, and while he
settled down after his rocky first inning, he later surrendered a
leadoff home run Calhoun in the fifth inning and a one-out triple to
third baseman Ian Stewart in the sixth. Stewart scored one batter
later when catcher Chris Iannetta delivered a sacrifice fly to
[to top of second column]
The "real Josh Hamilton," as Wilson described him, went 1-for-2 with
three walks, his fourth career three-walk game and first since May
13, 2009. Hamilton is hitting .500 this season.
"Don't get ahead of yourself," Hamilton said of his fast start. "Try
to come in every day and do the same things you're doing if
something is working. If you go through a little scuffle go back and
reassess what you're doing. Maybe you need to make an adjustment
somewhere. That's where I'm at right now."
The Astros (3-4) dropped three of four to the Angels after opening
their season by talking their three-game series with the Yankees.
Houston was charged with just one error but was guilty of several
"I feel like we played with a lot of energy," Astros manager Bo
Porter said. "We came out the gate and have played good baseball for
the most part. At the same time this one hurts because I don't feel
like we played good baseball today. But it's over. We'll get on the
plane (for Toronto)."
NOTES: Astros CF Dexter Fowler returned to the team on Monday after
missing the first three games of the series with a stomach virus
that hospitalized him on Friday. Fowler did not play in the series
finale, but will travel with the club on their road trip through
Toronto and Texas. ... Angels OF Josh Hamilton was named American
League Co-Player of the Week on Monday. Hamilton hit .500/.560/.864
with two homers and five RBIs over six games. ... Angels LHP C.J.
Wilson went 1-1 with a 1.35 ERA in two starts at Minute Maid Park
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