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05/19/10 12:26 AM ET
Wilson struggles for first time this year
Left-hander allows seven runs in 4 1/3 innings vs. Halos
By Chris Cox / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Rangers starting pitcher C.J. Wilson may not have been happy with his performance in Tuesday's game, but he was certainly pleased with the outcome. Wilson failed to earn his eighth straight quality start to begin the season and saw his ERA rise to 2.55. Entering Tuesday's game, Wilson had led the American League in ERA at 1.48 and was the first Rangers pitcher to lead in the category this late in the season since Kenny Rogers' 2.46 ERA through June 27, 2005. Despite that, the Rangers won for the sixth consecutive game that Wilson has pitched. Michael Young's RBI single in the sixth inning scored the go-ahead run as the Rangers defeated the Angels, 8-7, at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. "After I gave up those runs in the fourth, I was talking to Michael Young and I was like, 'I guess we're going to have to win ugly tonight,'" Wilson said. "They did. The bats came through big time. I'll take run support any time I can get it." Wilson's troubles began in the fourth inning, as he saw his homerless innings streak stop at 87 2/3 when Torii Hunter hit a two-run homer to left field. Juan Rivera followed with a two-run blast of his own three batters later. "You try to make guys miss too early in the count and you end up making more mistakes," Wilson said. "Hunter hit a first-pitch changeup. He hadn't swung at a first pitch obviously the whole series until then. He's been sitting on that for a while, apparently." After Bobby Abreu added an RBI double with one out in the fifth inning, Wilson's day was done and the Rangers faced a 7-3 deficit. But Texas rallied with five unanswered runs and the Rangers emerged as winners once again with Wilson on the mound. "That's going to happen when you face a team like that," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I wanted to get him through five innings, but they worked him good. He ended up throwing more pitches than he should have, but that's how it goes." For Wilson, it will be about getting back to what has made him so successful dating back to the start of the season. "Going back to Spring Training, I probably had like 10 starts in a row that were good," Wilson said. "I know what's made me successful to this point of the season and I need to just stick with that, no matter what." Wilson wants to regain the form that saw him reach seven straight quality starts, which involves keeping the ball on the ground and pitching deep into games. "It was a lesson. I haven't been pulled out of a game since ... I don't even know when. That was kind of frustrating," Wilson said. "I'm going to do everything I can to go out the next time and throw seven, eight or nine strong innings."
Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.