The Los Angeles Angels' homestand ended on a down note, but hitting the road could help them earn more positive results.
Los Angeles tries to win seven straight away from home for the first time in nearly three years Friday night when it faces the Rockies in its first series at Colorado in more than a decade.
After winning four of five against the New York Yankees and AL West-leading Texas, the Angels (29-29) dropped three of four to end their just-completed nine-game homestand. Los Angeles averaged 5.3 runs and hit seven homers during those final four games, but the pitching staff recorded a 5.50 ERA and issued 19 walks.
"... this wasn't an offensive letdown,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said following Wednesday's 8-6 loss to Seattle. "We had leads and couldn't hold it.''
Friday's scheduled starter C.J. Wilson (6-4, 2.54 ERA) can surely relate. He threw six scoreless innings in his last start - Saturday's 3-2 victory over the Rangers - only to emerge with no decision after the bullpen gave away a one-run lead.
Wilson, who has surrendered one run in 20 innings over his last three starts, will take on the Rockies (24-32) for the first time. However, the left-hander may be more excited about getting his first swings of 2012 after not pitching in the Angels' first visit to an NL park this season - a three-game series in San Diego from May 18-20.
"It's awesome," Wilson told the Angels' official website. "... I always wanted to be a hitter, so I always took hitting seriously when I was a kid and when I was in college and stuff. It was just something where you hoped that you were going to be better than the other pitcher."
If Wilson is better than Rockies counterpart Alex White (2-3, 5.60), the Angels will likely achieve their first 7-0 run away from home since an eight-game winning streak July 18-Aug. 2, 2009.
White is trying to build off a strong effort in a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, when he yielded two runs and two hits in 6 2-3 innings.
"That's the best game he's pitched since he's worn a Rockies uniform,'' manager Jim Tracy said of White, whom the club acquired from Cleveland in last season's Ubaldo Jimenez deal.
White earned his first career victory at Anaheim on May 7, 2011, when he struck out six in the Indians' 4-3 victory.
Angels slugger Albert Pujols will get his first look at the right-hander, but he brings in plenty of Coors Field experience. The three-time MVP with St. Louis is batting .285 with nine homers and 32 RBIs in career 38 games in Colorado.
Pujols is expected to slide from first base to third in this series, with Scioscia wanting to find a lineup spot for usual designated hitter Kendrys Morales.
"It doesn't make any difference to me. I was a shortstop," said Pujols, who has played 103 career games at third base. "My dad and everybody said, 'If you can play shortstop, you can play any position.' So I don't have any problem playing (third base)."
Rockies rookie third baseman Jordan Pacheco is batting .320 (16 for 50) during a 12-game home hitting streak.
Colorado has won six of seven at home, but suffered a three-game sweep in the Angels' last visit July 6-8, 2001.
The last nine games between these teams have been in Anaheim, with Los Angeles winning two of three in the most recent series June 25-27, 2010.
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