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Wilson leads Angels past A's again

The SportsXchange

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson had his way with the Oakland A's for the second time in six days Thursday night, and this time he didn't have to sweat the outcome.

Pounding out 12 hits, the Angels opened their four-game series against the A's with a no-doubt 8-3 victory at O.co Coliseum.

Albert Pujols went 3-for-4 and drove in a pair of runs for the Angels. Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo each drove in a pair of runs as well. Every Angels starter except Howie Kendrick had at least one hit.

For an Angels team that had averaged just 2.1 runs in the past nine games, Thursday night's explosion was a relief.

"We know we haven't scored a ton of runs recently," Trumbo said. "The at-bats have been good, the competitiveness is there. You really never know. We could go on an absolute tear, and this could be a good start for it."

Wilson improved to 3-0 against the A's this season after beating them in back-to-back starts. On Saturday at Anaheim, he blanked the A's for 8 1/3 innings in a 2-0 Angels win, outdueling right-hander Dan Straily, who allowed just two runs over seven innings. Wilson wasn't quite that sharp Thursday in the rematch, but he didn't need to be with the Angels roughing up Straily and the A's bullpen.

"We had a great approach with runners in scoring position tonight," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We've been setting the table. We just haven't cashed in the way we need to, and tonight we did."

Wilson allowed three runs on five hits over seven innings, striking out six and walking three. He threw 123 pitches, 73 for strikes. Straily allowed five runs on seven hits over just 4 1/3 innings, falling to 6-4. He blanked the Angels the first four innings before giving up four run in the fifth.

"I just wasn't able to command the baseball," Straily said. "I wasn't keeping it down. Up until that point I felt like I was commanding everything pretty good. Then just out of nowhere I wasn't able to correct myself, and it cost us the ballgame."

Wilson improved to 11-6 and won for the seventh time in his past eight starts. Before facing the A's on Thursday, Wilson had gone 6-1 with a 1.69 ERA over his past seven starts.

"It was a battle tonight," Wilson said. "I didn't have my good stuff; I didn't have my good velocity, and these guys just saw me. I had to kind of switch the game plan up a little bit."

The first-place A's remained three games ahead of Texas in the American League West. The Angels trail the A's by 10 games, but they've won four of their past five games against Oakland.

"We've been desperately trying to just gain some momentum for this whole season," Scioscia said. "It seems like when we start to take a couple steps forward, we just don't play at a (high) level and we pull the rug out from under ourselves. Hopefully we're going to move forward, but there (are) a lot of things that we need to do on a consistent basis."

Trailing 2-1, the Angels erupted for four runs in the fifth, knocking Straily out of the game. Erick Aybar led off with a walk and moved to third on J.B. Shuck's hit-and-run single to center. Trout brought Aybar home with a sacrifice fly to deep right as Josh Reddick made a leaping catch.

Pujols grounded a single to left that got past third baseman Josh Donaldson. Josh Hamilton followed with an RBI single to center, scoring Shuck. Trumbo then lined a two-run double to left-center, driving in Pujols and Hamilton and knocking Straily out of the game.

"I think he probably lacked a little bit of control with his fastball," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Straily. "It looked like he maybe wasn't hitting the glove as many times as we've seen him here in the past."

The Angels added three more runs in the sixth, extending their lead to 8-2.

A's catcher Derek Norris hit his sixth home run of the season, a solo shot in the sixth off Wilson.

NOTES: Hamilton (right ankle stiffness) returned to the starting lineup after missing three games. He batted fourth and played right field. ... A's catcher John Jaso (concussion) was placed on the seven-day disabled list. Jaso left Wednesday's game at Houston in the eighth inning after being hit in the mask with a foul ball for the third time in four games. The A's recalled C Stephen Vogt from Triple-A Sacramento to take Jaso's spot on the 25-man roster. ... RHP J.C. Gutierrez, who was claimed off waivers Wednesday from Kansas City, suited up Thursday for his first game as an Angel and pitched a scoreless ninth. To make room for Gutierrez on the 25-man roster, the Angels designated RHP Billy Buckner for assignment.
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