Wilson struggles as Angels drop finale in Toronto
Lefty gives up five runs as issues at Rogers Centre continue
TORONTO -- C.J. Wilson likes the city of Toronto. He just doesn't like pitching here.
The lefty's woes north of the border continued on Monday as the Angels fell to the Blue Jays, 7-3, which ended a three-game winning streak.
Wilson's lifetime record at Rogers Centre dropped to 1-4 with the loss, and he's now 4-3 on the season.
"It's frustrating, because I like coming here. I like coming to Toronto. It's a cool city," Wilson said. "I just never really look forward to going out on the field and playing."
Wilson gave up two costly home runs and allowed five earned runs for the first time since his first start of the season. All told, the 33-year-old pitched six innings and gave up six hits and three walks.
The Angels entered the game on the verge of sweeping Toronto in the four-game road set, having kept the Blue Jays bats at bay in the previous three games. But that all changed early on in this one.
With two runners on and Jose Bautista at the plate in the first inning, Wilson tossed a 2-1 changeup down and in, and the power-hitting right fielder promptly went yard with his 10th home run of the season to give the Blue Jays a quick 3-0 lead just three batters into the game. In 15 career at-bats before Monday, Bautista had never homered off Wilson.
"A terrible pitch," Wilson said. "I've pitched him tough the last couple of years, but he's up there looking for a good pitch and I threw a bad changeup. ... My ball, it was inconsistent today. I'd throw a pitch expecting it to move six inches and it wouldn't move at all, and other times it would move two feet."
The game stayed that way until the third, when Collin Cowgill started the inning with a walk to give the Angels a runner. He was moved over to second base on a single from Grant Green before Mike Trout brought them both home with a long double to center field, over the head of Colby Rasmus. That hit extended Trout's on-base streak vs. Toronto to 12 games.
Wilson's inconsistency continued, and he found himself in trouble again in the bottom half of that inning, but this time he escaped.
After giving up a pair of hits to Melky Cabrera and Bautista, he walked Dioner Navarro to load the bases with two outs and Adam Lind due up. After dueling to a full count, Wilson fanned Lind with a fastball to end the threat. But the Blue Jays kept pushing.
Brett Lawrie extended the lead for Toronto in the sixth. He sent his seventh homer of the season to left-center field to bring home Lind and provide a three-run cushion. That marked the end of the road for Wilson.
"I'm just going up there looking to do damage and trying to help the boys," said Lawrie, who played for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury on May 6. "Just trying to drive runs in when I can, when I'm given the opportunity to, and just to extend the inning ... I was just trying to extend it and I ran into one right there."
Toronto starter Mark Buehrle earned his seventh win of the season, and snapped a three-game losing streak against the Halos in the process. He pitched six-plus innings and allowed six hits and two earned runs. His five walks were the most he's allowed since June 28, 2010.
"He's going to pitch on the fringe of the plate, he wants guys swinging the bats. He's going to change speeds," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I thought we had a good approach against him. I thought we had a lot of guys on base. He made some pitches with some guys on base to get out of some trouble. He pitched a good game for them"
Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit his second home run of the season -- and his second in as many starts -- with a solo shot in the eighth. The loss ended the Angels' seven-game winning streak in Toronto.