Published November 20, 2014
C.J. Wilson enjoyed a wealth of success over his final few seasons with the Texas Rangers and cashed in on that by signing a huge free agent deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
But while the Rangers are once again on top in the AL West, the Angels are fighting for a spot in the postseason. They can better those chances if Wilson can find a way to finally beat his former team on Wednesday in the second installment of a three-game series.
Wilson was part of an expensive overhaul by the Angels, who also brought in Albert Pujols as a free agent addition this winter. Wilson has been solid for the most part, going 12-9 with a 3.73 earned run average in 31 games and comes into this start 3-0 over his last six outings.
However, the lefty is 0-1 with a 7.27 ERA in four starts against the Rangers, who he pitched with from 2005-11 while winning 31 games over the final two seasons.
Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler have all homered off their former teammate this season while combining for six RBI.
The 31-year-old Wilson is coming off a no-decision after yielding four runs -- three earned -- over five innings on Friday at the Kansas City Royals.
Texas' Derek Holland has also struggled in this series and hopes to get on track tonight versus the Angels, who have tagged him for 12 runs and five homers over just 13 1/3 innings of a pair of losses.
Albert Pujols and Mike Trout have given Holland fits, combining to go 7-for-13 against the lefty with four homers and five RBI.
Holland, though, is 3-0 over his last eight starts and has not given up more than three runs in any of his last five outings. He did earn his second straight no-decision on Thursday versus the Cleveland Indians, a victim of a blown save after yielding two runs and striking out seven over seven innings.
The 25-year-old is 10-6 with a 4.50 ERA this season and will likely have to face Pujols tonight after the Angels slugger missed Tuesday's opener to be with his wife and newborn daughter in Kansas City.
The offense did not miss a beat without Pujols in an 11-3 win as the Angels plated eight runs in the fourth inning and saw seven of their nine starters drive in at least one run. Mark Trumbo and Trout were the only ones without an RBI.
Backed with plenty of support, Jered Weaver won his 18th game of the season and 100th of his career after giving up three runs over seven innings.
"One hundred wins is great," Weaver said. "It's more of an individual thing, but I have a long way to go and I hope I can give the fans 200 more."
The Angels won for the fourth time in five games and sit three games back of the AL's second wild card position.
Kinsler clubbed a two-run home run and Mike Napoli added a solo shot for the Rangers, who still lead the AL West by three games over the Oakland Athletics.
Ryan Dempster lasted just 3 1/3 innings -- his shortest outing in a Rangers uniform -- and allowed five runs on six hits and three walks.
"In the fourth inning, we couldn't get any outs," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Dempster struggled from the beginning. It wasn't his night."
Washington's ballclub could be minus Hamilton tonight after the slugging outfielder exited Tuesday's opener early due to sinus discomfort that was affecting his vision.
The Angels have taken eight of 14 versus the Rangers this season, going 5-2 at home.