Angels 1, Oakland 0:
Wilson is sharp for seven and Pujols homers again.
Shortstop Erick Aybar couldn’t handle Brett Lawrie’s sharp grounder in the seventh inning, committing the Angels’ first error in 11 games this month and putting runners on first and second with one out. But first baseman Efren Navarro made a lunging, backhand grab of Stephen Vogt’s liner and threw to second to complete an inning-double play and preserve a 1-0 lead.
AT THE PLATE:
Albert Pujols hit a solo homer in the first, his 10th homer in 15 games and the 538th of his career. The shot to left field gave Pujols 1,636 career runs batted in, tying him with Ernie Banks for 29th on baseball’s all-time list. Pujols became the sixth player in Angels history and the first since Mo Vaughn in May of 2000 to hit 10 homers in a 15-game span. Third baseman David Freese, who did not start the previous three games because of right hamstring tightness, had two hits in three at-bats. Mike Trout fouled a ball hard off his right foot in the fifth inning and crumpled to the ground, but he remained in the game.
ON THE MOUND:
C.J. Wilson, 1-3 with a 6.00 earned-run average and six homers given up in his previous five starts, was superb, giving up two hits in seven shutout innings, striking out eight and walking three to improve to 4-5 with a 3.60 ERA. The left-hander escaped a second-and-third, two-out jam in the fifth by striking out Sam Fuld with a breaking ball in the dirt and struck out two of three in the sixth. Joe Smith retired the side in order with one strikeout in the eighth. Huston Street, who threw 26 high-stress pitches Friday night, walked Billy Butler with two outs in the ninth but got pinch-hitter Josh Reddick to pop to short for his 19th save. A’s right-hander Kendall Graveman gave up eight hits and struck out seven in an eight-inning complete game.
Collin Cowgill has hit what Manager Mike Scioscia called “a plateau” in his recovery from a right wrist sprain, and the reserve outfielder will travel to Arizona on Monday to be examined by a specialist. “It hasn’t progressed the way we anticipated,” Scioscia said. “No doubt, there’s a level of concern. Collin is one of those guys you don’t really appreciate until he’s not there. He does so many things for us.”
The Angels added another strong-armed rookie to the bullpen when they called up 22-year-old right-hander Trevor Gott, who was acquired from San Diego in last July’s deal for Street. Gott had a combined ERA of 2.25 in 25 games for double-A Arkansas and triple-A Salt Lake, striking out 30 and walking 12 in 28 innings. His fastball has jumped from the 93-mph range last summer to the 96-mph range, and he has good command of a curve.
Right-hander Matt Shoemaker (4-4, 4.86 ERA) will oppose Oakland right-hander Sonny Gray (7-3, 1.74) at Angel Stadium on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. TV: FS West; Radio: 830.