C.J. Wilson had a simple plan for his second start after a dud in his season debut. “Just told myself I’m going to pick my spot and stay with my spot and not try to overdo it,” Wilson said. It was an effective approach, allowing him to pitch eight solid innings while Howie Kendrick and Raul Ibanez each drove in three runs to send the Angels over the Houston Astros 9-1 Monday. The Angels took three of four from Houston after starting the season 0-3. Wilson (1-1) yielded four hits and a run while fanning seven. He looked a lot more like the 17-game winner he was last year than he did in his first start this season when he gave up eight hits and six runs in 5 2/3 innings of a loss to Seattle. In that game, he said, all the hits in that game came when “I basically overthrew or did something mechanically wrong.” He didn’t have that problem Monday. “I was able to throw curveballs for strikes and changeups for strikes, which was big,” Wilson said. “I only threw a couple sliders because I didn’t really need to.” Houston struggled to get anything going off of him. Jesus Guzman doubled with one out in the second before Wilson retired nine in a row. A double by Chris Carter came with one out in the fifth inning, and Wilson sat down 10 straight after that. The Astros finally got on the board when Carlos Corporan launched a 76 mph curveball into the Crawford Boxes in left field for a home run that made it 8-1. “First-pitch strikes were huge for him and when he did get behind in the count he was able to command some off-speed pitches to get back into the count,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “He couldn’t have really done a much better job than he did.” Though he didn’t need his slider to keep the Astros off-balance, he did pull out a seldom-used pitch once to try and handle Guzman. “His third at-bat I threw him a knuckleball because I literally had no idea what to throw him,” Wilson said. Kendrick drove in two with a single in a three-run first inning. He added an RBI with a single when the Angels tacked on three more in the seventh. Kole Calhoun homered off Jarred Cosart (1-1), sending a drive to right field for his second shot of the series to push the lead to 4-0 in the fifth inning.
Wilson, Angels handle Astros 9-1
L.A. Daily News | Apr 8