Wilson’s 2 HRs, 5 RBIs lead Angels over Blue Jays
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Bobby Wilson(notes) and Hideki Matsui(notes) put together a powerful show that helped Ervin Santana(notes) and the Los Angeles Angels overcome two lost arguments with plate umpire Joe West.
Wilson had his first two-homer game in the major leagues and drove in a career-high five runs, leading the Angels to a 7-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday night. Matsui was 4 for 4 with a two-run homer, raising his career average against Toronto to .316.
Wilson, a backup catcher, has made 20 starts this season, with the Angels going 15-5 in those games. His career got off to an inauspicious start on April 23, when he made his big league debut against the Yankees and received a concussion and a sprained left ankle in a collision with Mark Teixeira(notes). The injuries put him on the disabled list for 21 games.
“He hasn’t had a lot of playing time, and it’s tough to keep your timing when you don’t get up to the plate a lot,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “But he contributed in a big way tonight.”
The first dispute with West came in the third inning with Los Angeles leading 2-0.
After Bobby Abreu(notes) led off with a double, Erick Aybar(notes) tried to sacrifice. His bunt was fielded by third baseman Jose Bautista(notes), and the throw arrived at first at the same time as Aybar. The ball popped out of first baseman Lyle Overbay’s(notes) glove as Abreu made the wide turn at third and held up.
West ruled that Aybar was outside of the runner’s lane—Aybar was called out and Abreu was sent back to second. The ensuing argument between Scioscia and West delayed the game for several minutes.
“Joe was letting me know what he saw, and that he didn’t need any help on it,” Scioscia said. “You’re allowed to touch the bag, which actually will get you a little bit inside the line when you get there, but it depends on your angle. If you’re still inside the baseline going to the bag, you’re still in jeopardy. That’s what he said Erick did, and it was the right call. Erick was running inside the line.”
Scioscia was back on the field in the fourth for another argument with the veteran crew chief. It came after rookie Peter Bourjos(notes) was hit by an 0-2 pitch on the left elbow and wasn’t allowed to take first because—in West’s judgment — Bourjos didn’t try to get out of the way.
“It’s not called very often,” Scioscia said. “He just thought Peter leaned into the ball a little bit, and he wasn’t going to let that happen.”
West did not comment after the game. A security guard stationed outside the umpires’ dressing room informed West that a reporter was waiting outside, but the guard returned with a message from West that umpires won’t be making any comments the rest of the season—and that all requests should be made through Major League Baseball.
Santana (12-8) pitched seven innings and allowed three hits, including a fifth-inning homer by Fred Lewis(notes). The right-hander is 4-0 with a 2.32 ERA in his last four starts against Toronto, including a pair of complete games earlier this season.
“Pitching sets the tone,” Scioscia said. “Even when Ervin got into some jams, he was able to get out of trouble. He had a good breaking ball and gave us a good seven innings and gave our offense a chance to get going. He’s throwing the ball very consistently.”
“Brett’s coming off of nine days’ rest and didn’t have much of a fastball tonight,” manager Cito Gaston said. “I don’t think he hit 90 one time tonight — I think 89 was the highest. We had a chat with him to see if he was hurt or whatever, he just said: `Nothing comes out.’ Right now, I guess it’s just due to all the time he had off. But he’s not hurting, so that’s the main thing.”
“It was cool just to help the team win any way possible,” Wilson said. “I was just checking my phone now, and I got a bunch of text messages from everybody back home.”
Wilson gave the Angels a 7-1 lead in the sixth with his fourth homer after a two-out single by Matsui, who had his first four-hit game of the season.
NOTES: Santana reached the 1,000-inning mark when he struck out Bautista for the second out in the first. … The Angels reached the 60-win mark in their 118th game, the longest it’s taken them since 2003, when they needed 124 games to do it. … Cecil was 2-0 with a 2.06 ERA over his previous six starts. … The Blue Jays were 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position.