C.J. Wilson throws 8 sharp inning, Angels beat Mariners 2-0
SEATTLE (AP) Angels manager Mike Scioscia and pitcher C.J. Wilson had differing views of the same performance.
Scioscia went so far as to call what Wilson did a ''masterpiece'' after the left-hander gave up two hits over eight innings in Los Angeles' 2-0 win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
Wilson was quick to counter.
''I disagree. For me, that's not a masterpiece,'' Wilson said. ''It was good enough. I'll take it.''
Consider it the high standard Wilson has set for himself that retiring the last 17 batters he faced and allowing three total baserunners doesn't fall into the list of his best outings.
But whether he wants to acknowledge it or not, Wilson (1-0) was outstanding. He wriggled out of a second-inning jam and was never threated. He needed only two strikeouts to shut down Seattle.
''That was great to see. We haven't seen that kind of stuff since probably midseason last year,'' Scioscia said. ''I think it points to the fact that he's healthy. You can't really command the ball better than C.J. did.''
The Angels got all their offense from David Freese, who hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning. Freese found just enough power on a chilly night when fly balls were not carrying well.
Albert Pujols doubled with one out, the first hit off Seattle starter James Paxton (0-1), and Freese followed with a shot to right-center that barely cleared the fence.
It was Freese's second career homer off Paxton, and all Wilson needed on a night when he filled up the strike zone.
''I was trying to hit something hard,'' Freese said. ''You're not going to get too many opportunities against a guy like that, and a rotation like this, so we capitalized.''
Wilson threw 96 pitches, 63 for strikes. Nelson Cruz and Rickie Weeks each got his first hit with the Mariners, but that was the entirety of Seattle's offense against Wilson.
Wilson returned to congratulations in the dugout after striking out Brad Miller to end the eighth.
Huston Street pitched the ninth for his first save.
''I wasn't too happy with a lot of the at-bats, how they went after I got to two strikes. I felt like I was out there overthrowing, yanking the ball a little bit, but I guess we had defensive guys in the right position today,'' Wilson said. ''There are always adjustments to be made.''
Paxton went six innings and struck out five, but got no run support. He retired 10 of his first 11 batters before Pujols' double, and three of the four hits he allowed came in the fourth inning.
The lack of offense left a fan catching a foul ball with his bucket of popcorn in the second inning as the biggest highlight for Seattle fans.
The Mariners had a chance in the second with runners at first and second and one out, but Wilson got Logan Morrison to hit into a fielder's choice and Mike Zunino to fly out to end the threat.
''(Wilson) has four pitches, but if he can spot all of them it's more like eight pitches - inside, outside with whatever,'' Morrison said. ''He was doing a good job with that tonight.''
Mike Trout doubled with two outs in the eighth off Seattle reliever Yoervis Medina. It snapped an 0-for-6 streak with four strikeouts for Trout after he homered in the first inning of the opener.
Angels: Matt Joyce sat in favor of Collin Cowgill in left field, but Scioscia said that wouldn't always be the case when a left-hander is on the mound. Scioscia said individual matchups would determine whether the left-handed-hitting Joyce plays against lefties.
Mariners: Manager Lloyd McClendon went with Cruz in right field and Weeks at designated hitter, delaying Weeks' debut in the outfield for a couple of days. McClendon said he wouldn't hesitate to put Weeks in the outfield, even though he got limited time there during spring training.
Angels: Right-hander Matt Shoemaker begins his second full season with the Angels after finishing second in AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2014. Shoemaker was 16-4 with a 3.04 ERA in 27 games last season.
Mariners: Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma will make his 2015 debut. After pitching behind Felix Hernandez in Seattle's rotation last season, Iwakuma was pushed to No. 3 in order to split up the right-handers.