Wilson helps Angels complete sweep of White Sox
ANAHEIM, Calif. — This was one time when C.J. Wilson didn’t question manager Mike Scioscia’s decision to remove him from a game while an inning was in progress.
Despite the fact that a bout with the flu had sapped his energy, he still was able to dominate the Chicago White Sox for 7 1/3 innings.
Wilson bounced back strongly from his shortest outing of the season, taking a three-hit shutout into the eighth, and Josh Hamilton drove in three runs to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 4-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
Wilson (7-5) was charged with one run, struck out six, and was lifted after 107 pitches. Last Tuesday at Houston, the left-hander gave up five runs, six hits and five walks through 2 2/3 innings in a 7-2 loss.
“I don’t even remember what happened five days ago. I’ve just been in a stupor,” Wilson said “I’ve been sick with the flu the last couple of days, so I didn’t really have much in the tank. That was pretty much all I had. I wish could say that I could have gone nine today, or throw 130 pitches, but it just wasn’t in the cards.” Joe Smith relieved Wilson, giving up a double to pinch-hitter Alejandro De Aza, a run-scoring infield hit by pinch-hitter Conor Gillaspie and an RBI single by Adam Eaton before retiring Gordon Beckham in a double-play grounder.
Ernesto Frieri got three outs for his 10th save.
The White Sox concluded a nine-game stretch in Southern California in which they lost two of three to San Diego, won two of three against the Dodgers and were swept by the Angels thanks to Wilson’s gem.
“Wilson threw a great game. We didn’t get anything going, and we were just flat,” manager Robin Ventura said. “We just couldn’t get anybody on base. And when we did, he got a couple of double-play balls that really just took the life out of any kind of rally.”
Chicago first baseman Jose Abreu started in the designated hitter role for the 10th time and was 0 for 4 with a pair of double-play grounders. A top contender for AL Rookie of the Year, he is 9 for 38 with four homers and 11 RBIs as a DH.
“I think we held him in check the whole series, but I think we just sort of got him at a bad time,” Wilson said.
Jose Quintana (3-6) allowed four runs, seven hits and four walks through 4 1/3 innings and struck out four. It was the eighth time in the left-hander’s 13 starts that he left a game with fewer than three runs of support, and he is 0-6 in those outings.
“It just seemed like Q was battling all the time with guys on base,” Ventura said. “I mean, he’ll walk a few guys here and there, but today he was just falling behind and not really locating like he normally does.”
Quintana escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first when he retired Hamilton on a popup and struck out C.J. Cron. But Hamilton drove in the Angels’ first run with a two-out double in the third, then made it 3-0 in the fifth with a bases-loaded two-run single after Quintana walked cleanup hitter David Freese. Cron followed with an RBI single that chased the left-hander.
“In situations with guys on base, the biggest thing is putting the ball in play,” Hamilton said. “One time I didn’t and two times I did. You do what you can to help the team win. We’ve done a great job the last few games getting runners in scoring position with two outs.”
Freese, who had never drawn more than two walks in any of his 507 previous regular-season games in the major leagues, got a free pass all four times up — all on 3-2 counts. That tied a franchise record for a nine-inning game, and was the first time it happened since May 18, 2013, when the White Sox walked Chris Iannetta four times.
“We worked a lot of walks today. Freese had the force field going today,” Wilson said. “Anytime you put that much pressure on the starting pitcher and knock him out before the fifth inning, that’s good.”
*Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill