DETROIT — It can be both a blessing and a curse to have the kind of movement on your pitches that Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson and Detroit Tigers right-hander Doug Fister possess.
In games they harness that kineticism, as Fister did Wednesday night when he gave up one run and two hits and struck out 10 in eight innings of a 7-2 victory over the Angels in Comerica Park, they can be dominant.
The flip side happened to Wilson, who gave up seven runs — four in a second inning that featured Prince Fielder's two-run single — and eight hits and walked five to fall to 9-6 and increase his season walk total to 56, fourth-most in the American League.
"There were a couple of pitches that got away, but the really frustrating part is when you're missing by an inch or two and the ball moves a little more than you wanted," said Wilson, who gave up two earned runs or fewer in 11 of his previous 12 road starts. "The downside of my repertoire is it goes in every direction."
That can be the upside of Fister's repertoire, as evidenced by his first-inning two-seam fastball that struck out Torii Hunter looking. The knuckleball-like pitch moved so much it popped out of catcher Gerald Laird's mitt.
"I said, 'Hold on, wait a minute,' I almost told the umpire to check the ball," Hunter said. "That pitch moved like eight inches. The first two innings, he had crazy movement. After that he was hitting his spots, moving the ball in and out."
Fister gave up one hit from the second through eighth innings and shut down the Angels one night after they amassed a season-high 18 hits and five home runs. The Angels' highlights were Albert Pujols' solo homer in the first and Mike Trout's triple in the ninth.
The most positive development of the day for the Angels came hours before the game, when Dan Haren threw a maximum-effort bullpen workout and said he "felt great" afterward.
The veteran right-hander will throw a light bullpen session Friday before returning to the rotation, probably Sunday night against Texas. The lower-back stiffness that sent him to the disabled list for the first time in his career may have been replaced by a chip on his shoulder.
Haren (6-8, 4.86 earned-run average) is aware of speculation that the Angels, because of his setback and the struggles of Ervin Santana (4-9, 5.60 ERA), are pursuing a front-line starting pitcher before the July 31 trade deadline.
General Manager Jerry Dipoto said a healthy Haren "is the best addition we can make," but Haren is still miffed by stories that have suggested he is in decline and incapable of filling a rotation void.
"I've been a really good pitcher for eight or nine years," Haren said. "I've had a couple of bad months where I've pitched through some stuff. I think people kind of forget how good I can be. It's been kind of frustrating hearing all that stuff.
"I went on the DL to try to help this team, to get better for my last 12 starts, because I know those are going to be very important. I kind of had to swallow my pride and just get better."