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Pujols, Wilson shine in Angels' 9-1 victory over A's

First baseman gets two hits and an RBI in three at-bats while ace left-hander pitches two scoreless innings.

March 05, 2012|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Angels starting pitcher C.J. Wilson delivers a changeup during the exhibition game against the A's on Monday.
Angels starting pitcher C.J. Wilson delivers a changeup during the exhibition… (Darron Cummings / Associated…)

Reporting from Tempe, Ariz. — The Angels' two marquee -- and expensive -- free-agent additions got off to strong starts with their new club Monday, Albert Pujols collecting two hits in three at-bats and C.J. Wilson throwing two scoreless innings in a 9-1 exhibition victory over the Oakland Athletics.

Pujols, who signed a 10-year, $240-million deal, hit a run-scoring double in the first inning and singled to left in the second. The first baseman flied to right with the bases loaded to end the third inning and played four innings in the field.

"Believe it or not, I was nervous," said Pujols, the former St. Louis Cardinalsstar and three-time National League most valuable player. "I felt it when I was stretching. It's natural. It's my 13th season, and I still feel it. That means you're getting yourself ready for a game."

Wilson, the former Texas Rangers ace who signed a five-year, $77.5-million deal with the Angels, gave up one hit and one walk while throwing all fastballs and changeups.

"It's a different cast of characters here, but the game is the same," Wilson said. "It's a loose clubhouse, they have a lot of fun. Even though it's a spring-training game, they play hard, they steal bases, take the extra base. It's an exciting brand of baseball."

It was also a good afternoon for the batters in front of Pujols. Leadoff man Erick Aybar and No. 2 hitter Howie Kendrick reached base in each of their first three plate appearances, Aybar with a single and two walks and Kendrick with a single, two-run homer and a walk.

Catcher Chris Iannetta, acquired from Colorado in late January, hit a two-run homer in the third inning, and left-hander Brad Mills, acquired from Toronto in early December, threw two scoreless innings. Mills is a candidate for the fifth rotation spot.

ALSO:

Angels have bigger concerns than Albert Pujols' transition

Young catcher Bobby Wilson has the spot but not the job

Angels hitters expect to be challenged with Pujols in the lineup

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