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Angels' C.J. Wilson wobbles but gets the big out this time

Wilson, who has often struggled in games in which Angels have held big leads, gets Oakland's Josh Reddick to pop out in sixth inning with bases loaded.

September 03, 2012|By Mike DiGiovanna

OAKLAND -- Some of C.J. Wilson's most dismal performances have come in games in which the Angels staked him to big leads, and the left-hander who too often nibbles at instead of attacking the strike zone seemed headed down that dangerous path again Monday.

With a 5-0 lead over the Oakland Athletics, Wilson gave up a double to Jonny Gomes and a run-scoring bloop single to Josh Reddick in the fourth inning and a solo homer to Josh Donaldson in the fifth that made it 5-2.

Then in the sixth, with one on and two out, Wilson walked Coco Crisp and Gomes to load the bases for Reddick, who leads the A's with 28 home runs.

But after taking a mighty cut through an 83-mph slider, Reddick popped out to second on a curve to end the inning. It may have been the biggest out of the season for Wilson, who departed after five innings because of his heavy workload in the fourth and fifth innings and a small blister on his middle finger.

"We've seen him struggle pitching with leads, and it looked like he was starting to miss his spots and lose his release point," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "But he came back and made a couple great pitches to Reddick."

A step back

After Mark Trumbo struck out twice at head-high pitches and went 0 for 5 Monday to extend a prolonged slump in which he's hitting .181 (23 for 127) with three homers, 14 runs batted in and 53 strikeouts in 32 games, Scioscia said he will give him Tuesday night off. Vernon Wells will start in his place.

"You want to give a guy enough room to swing his way out of a dry spell, and Mark will get that," Scioscia said. "But to give him a day to let him breathe right now is the way we should go."

Trumbo is hitting .273 with 30 homers and 83 RBIs this season, but he has been particularly vulnerable to breaking balls lately.

"At times he's expanded the zone and gotten into trouble, and at times he's expanded the zone and hit the ball hard," Scioscia said. "You have to find the balance between being aggressive and having the plate discipline to get into good counts. That's a fragile balance for any hitter."

Rotation in flux

Scioscia said Jered Weaver's right shoulder was "a little tender" Monday after the right-hander was struck by a line drive Sunday in Seattle. Scioscia planned to keep Weaver on regular rest despite Thursday's off day and start him Friday night against Detroit, but that could change.

"We're going to wait and see how he's feeling, get through this series and see how things set up," Scioscia said.

Short hops

Monday marked the 18th time this season the Angels have hit three or more homers in a game. They had 21 games with three or more homers in the previous two seasons combined. … The Angels activated reserve outfielder Peter Bourjos (sore right wrist) from the disabled list Monday.

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