Even though the Los Angeles Angels have given him the most run support in baseball, C.J. Wilson still tries to pitch every game as if it's a nail-biter.
The left-hander will try to win for the fifth time in six starts and continue his recent dominance of the visiting New York Yankees on Tuesday night in the second of a three-game set.
Wilson (4-2, 3.18 ERA) has received a major league-best average of 9.53 runs, though he certainly hasn't needed it lately. Since allowing six runs over 5 2-3 innings in an 8-3 home loss to Seattle in his season debut, he's gone 4-1 with a 2.12 ERA over five starts.
The two-time All-Star is coming off his best outing Wednesday when he gave up one run and two hits over eight innings in a 7-1 home win over Cleveland. He finished with eight strikeouts and retired his last 18 batters after allowing a leadoff double in the third.
Los Angeles (16-15) has put up at least seven runs in each of his wins, outscoring its opponents 43-5 in those contests.
"I try to hold the other team down so that there's no momentum," Wilson said. "I think a lot of guys fall into the trap of thinking in the fourth inning: 'Hey, this game is over, so I'm going to cruise from here'"
One of those lopsided wins came at Yankee Stadium on April 25 when Wilson allowed one run over six innings in a 13-1 rout for the Angels' only victory in that three-game set. He'll try to lead Los Angeles to its sixth win in eight games on the current homestand following Monday's series-opening 4-1 victory.
Dating to his time with Texas, Wilson has gone 4-0 with a 1.99 ERA in his last six starts against the Yankees (16-15). In his only meeting at Angel Stadium, he surrendered two runs over seven innings in a 5-2 victory June 14.
On Monday, the Angels scored three runs on five straight walks by three relievers in the bottom of the eighth after the Yankees failed to score with the based loaded and no outs in the top half.
The six walks in the eighth were New York's most in an inning since 1990.
Derek Jeter, however, broke out of his 4-for-30 slump by going 2 for 4 with a double. Mark Teixeira, whose RBI single tied the game in the seventh, is 9 for 26 with four homers and seven RBIs over a seven-game hitting streak.
Hiroki Kuroda (2-3, 5.14) struggled when he opposed Wilson last month, surrendering season highs of eight runs and 10 hits over a season-low 4 2-3 innings after going 3-2 with a 2.16 ERA in his previous six against the Angels.
Though he's 0-2 with a 6.61 ERA in his last three outings overall, the right-hander showed improvement by allowing four runs - three earned - over six innings in Thursday's 4-2 home loss to Seattle.
"I think it's a step in the right direction," said manager Joe Girardi, whose frustrations seemed to boil over Monday when he was ejected for arguing a strike call in the eighth inning during his club's fifth loss in six games.
Albert Pujols - who had two hits in the opener - and Ian Stewart took Kuroda deep in the last meeting. Pujols is 7 for 16 with two homers off him since 2011, while Stewart has eight hits in 16 career at-bats.
Stewart, however, is hitless in 14 at-bats over the last six games.