Published November 20, 2014
While Barry Zito's control has escaped him over his last two starts, C.J. Wilson has battled no such issues in his most recent month of action.
The two hurlers go head-to-head this evening when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and San Francisco Giants continue a three-game series.
Wilson looks to extend his recent hot streak in his first ever meeting with the Giants. The Angels left-hander has posted a 0.77 earned run average over his past five outings and hasn't given up more than one earned run in six straight starts. He has won his past three decisions to boost his season record to 7-4 in 14 starts with a 2.30 ERA.
Wilson beat the Rockies on June 8 with eight innings of one-run ball that featured nine strikeouts, then made his second straight road start on Wednesday at the Dodgers. The 31-year-old did not factor into a 2-1 win despite giving up a run on four hits and five walks over seven frames of work.
Zito, meanwhile, had won four of five starts prior to consecutive losses that have seen him allow nine runs, 14 hits and four homers over 11 innings. He paid the price for his inability to find the plate in a 6-3 loss to Houston on Thursday.
The 34-year-old southpaw fell apart in the third frame, issuing three straight walks before serving up a grand slam. He was charged with five runs on five hits and three walks in five frames of work, also yielding a solo homer while falling to 5-4 with a 3.61 ERA in 13 starts this season.
Zito, a former Cy Young Winner with Oakland, has faced the Angels 29 times in his career but not since 2009. He is 12-10 against his former division rivals with a 3.82 ERA.
The Giants drew first blood in this series with last night's 5-3 win, overcoming a shaky outing from Matt Cain in his first start since throwing a perfect game. The righty labored through a season-low five innings, allowing three runs on six hits and a season-high four walks. Still, Cain won his eighth straight outing.
"I was a little energized from the last game. It was a relief to get back on the mound and get that one out of the way," Cain said. "My goal is to stay in the game long enough to give our team a chance to win."
He entered the night retiring his last 32 batters, but that streak was halted in the home first as Mike Trout stroked a leadoff single to left. Albert Pujols then put an end to Cain's 20-inning stretch without allowing an earned run later in the frame as he lifted a sacrifice fly to right.
The Giants, who had lost three of four, did give their starter plenty of support as Melky Cabrera had three hits to lift his season average to .364, while Brandon Crawford and Ryan Theriot had a pair of RBI each. Brandon Belt added two hits and is hitting .455 over a career-best seven-game hitting streak with three homers.
The win also pulled San Francisco to within 4 1/2 games of the idle Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the NL West.
The Angels attempted to battle Cain with concerned feelings after learning that starter Jerome Williams had to be taken to the hospital for precautionary measures during the contest due to shortness of breath. Williams allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings.
"Jerome felt fine on the bench during the game," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "When he came out of the game he was dizzy, so we took him to the hospital. He'll stay overnight and have some tests done."
"It was tough to hear," teammate Torii Hunter said. "We didn't know what was going on. We knew he passed out in the locker room. All you can do is just say a little prayer at that point, and hopefully he's doing OK."
Mark Trumbo cracked his 16th homer of the season while Erick Aybar was the only Angel to record two hits in only his club's third loss in 10 games. The setback did drop the Angels five games behind the Rangers for the top spot in the AL West.
The Angels swept a three-game series at San Francisco in the most recent meeting in 2009 and are hosting the Giants for the first time since 2000.