C.J. silences A's at Angel Stadium
Lefty allows three hits in 8 1/3 scoreless innings
ANAHEIM -- The Angels struggled against the first-place Athletics in the first half of the season, but two games into the second half, that has not been the case.
After losing five of their first six games against the A's, the Angels earned their second straight victory over the American League West leaders, 2-0, on Saturday night at Angel Stadium.
"After the break, two games, you really can't take too much from it, but it's a nice start for us coming out of the break," Hank Conger said.
One night after Jered Weaver threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings, C.J. Wilson upped the ante by holding the A's scoreless on three hits over 8 1/3 innings. The left-hander's longest outing of the season pulled the Angels to within three games of .500 and secured a series victory -- the Halos' seventh in their last 10 series.
After allowing a double in the first and a single to lead off the second, Wilson took over. The left-hander retired the next 18 batters he faced before he walked Derek Norris to begin the eighth. Wilson didn't allow another hit until Jed Lowrie's one-out single in the ninth ended his night.
"I think he was as locked in as we've seen him," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Had pitches he was getting ahead with, had pitches he was putting guys away with. He didn't get behind in too many counts. He was ahead of counts most of the day, strike one to just about every hitter."
Wilson finished with eight strikeouts against two walks, picking up his 10th victory.
"Tonight, I just had more pitches in the mix," Wilson said. "I had the changeup, the split, cutter, all in the strike zone. This whole year I've been relying mostly on fastball, slider and the occasional curveball, but I had the most strikes tonight."
Athletics first baseman Brandon Moss agreed with Wilson's assessment.
"I've only faced him two or three times before that, but I think the difference in him tonight was that he was throwing two or three different types of breaking pitches," Moss said. "He was throwing a little bit of a cutter, a slider and a curveball. He was mixing what he was throwing in different counts and he was throwing strikes."
Although Saturday was the best Wilson has been all season, he has been pitching well for a while. Wilson has not allowed a run in three of his last six starts and is 6-1 with a 1.69 ERA in his last eight starts.
"His past couple starts have been really good," Conger said. "He's throwing a lot of strikes, he's getting ahead of counts, and tonight he was able to just get a lot of swing and missed on his slider and curveball."
The Athletics' struggles against Wilson wasted a solid start by Dan Straily, who held the Angels to two runs on eight hits while striking out four.
"Brought his changeup in, had a nice slider, good fastball command," Scioscia said of Straily. "He pitched a strong game for those guys and we are fortunate we got a run early."
With one out in the first, Mike Trout -- who would later single to extend his hitting streak to a season-long 12 games -- was hit by a pitch. Trout advanced to third on Albert Pujols' single and scored on Josh Hamilton's sacrifice fly.
In the seventh inning, third baseman Alberto Callaspo gave the Angels an insurance run with a home run to right field. Callaspo's fifth home run of the season gave him 11 hits in his past 11 games.
Ernesto Frieri took over for Wilson and struck out Josh Donaldson and John Jaso to record his 24th save and his second in as many days.