Wilson wins Angels debut, 5-1 in Twins home opener
By DAVE CAMPBELL
AP Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — C.J. Wilson won his awaited Angels debut with seven smooth innings, giving Los Angeles all the boost it needed to beat the Twins 5-1 on Monday and spoil Minnesota's home opener.
Wilson (1-0) allowed three hits while striking out five, giving up only one fly ball, a home run by Josh Willingham. Wilson, who struck out Joe Mauer twice, had a 2-0 lead before he even touched the mound, after Torii Hunter's single and Bobby Abreu's double drove in first-inning runs against Nick Blackburn.
Albert Pujols didn't get a ball out of the infield in four at-bats, but he reached on a fielder's choice, hustled from first to third on a single to center and scored the Angels' first run. Pujols is 3 for 14 through four games, with one run batted in.
Blackburn (0-1) was charged with five runs over six innings, but he recorded 15 straight outs in one stretch and surrendered just five hits, a decent first start after two straight rough seasons.
The fact that Wilson, who went 31-15 with a 3.14 ERA over the last two years, was slated as their fourth starter provided more proof of how stacked the Angels are this season. Wilson's decision to leave Texas and sign for five years and more than $77 million was barely noticed because Pujols joined on the same day.
But Hunter kidded before the game that he could've built an entire clubhouse "with a fireplace'' with all the bats he's seen Wilson break. On a sunny but windy and chilly afternoon — the first-pitch temperature was 45 degrees — Wilson looked as comfortable as if he were in his Southern California home.
He walked four, but contros missed two weeks of spring training to be with his seriously injured daughter. RH Scott Baker is seeking a second opinion on his strained elbow, and RH Liam Hendriks was discharged from a Baltimore hospital Monday after missing his start Sunday because of food poisoning. ... Mauer, who is 1 for 14 this season, played 1B and was charged with an error for bobbling a grounder in the sixth. ... After the off day Tuesday, Angels All-Star Jered Weaver, who struck out 10 over eight scoreless innings to win their opener, will take the mound Wednesday against the Twins' Carl Pavano (0-1).
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