Preview Philadelphia at Los Angeles
(SportsNetwork.com) - C.J. Wilson will try to avoid a third straight losing start on Tuesday evening as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play the first of two in a row versus the Philadelphia Phillies.
Wilson has struggled in a pair of outings since coming off the disabled list, prompting some concern for one of Los Angeles' top pitchers.
The left-hander lasted a mere 1 1/3 innings and yielded six runs on Aug. 2 against hosting Tampa Bay. He then hurled 5 2/3 frames versus the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, but was charged with four runs on six hits and four walks.
That dropped Wilson to 8-8 on the year with a 4.82 earned run average.
"C.J. had a tough time with his command early," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He made some adjustments, but used a lot of pitches and had deep counts."
The 33-year-old Wilson is 0-1 with a save and 4.00 ERA in three previous meetings with the Phillies, including one start.
The Angels have lost five of their past six to fall 3 1/2 games back of first- place Oakland in the AL West. They have scored two runs or fewer four times in that span, including a 3-1 loss to Boston on Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game set.
The Angels managed just six hits after winning an epic 19-inning marathon that ended 12 hours before Sunday's first pitch.
"We're not swinging the bats well," Scioscia said. "There's improvement we need from players."
Perhaps a meeting with former Angels pitcher Jerome Williams can help.
Williams will make his Phillies debut tonight after being claimed off waivers from Texas. Philadelphia is the third team he will have pitched for this season after spending each of his previous three campaigns with the Angels.
The 32-year-old righty went 1-4 with a 6.04 ERA in 26 relief appearances with Houston before getting released. He joined the Rangers and split a pair of starts, hurling six frames of one-run ball to beat the Athletics on July 25 prior to getting blitzed for 10 runs and 13 hits over four frames of a setback to Cleveland on Aug. 1.
Williams will make his first ever start against the Angels, but has allowed eight runs over seven innings of relief versus them, spread out over three appearances.
The Phillies lost three of four to the New York Mets over the weekend, losing a 5-3 decision on Monday.
David Buchanan had limited the Mets to a run on three hits over the first six innings, but was charged with two runs while failing to record an out in the deciding seventh. His final line took a hit when reliever Justin De Fratus served up a tie-breaking three-run homer to Anthony Recker in the frame.
Buchanan walked Juan Lagares to begin the inning before giving up an RBI double to Matt den Dekker to end his outing.
"That late in a game, you can't walk guys to start an inning," Buchanan lamented.
Darin Ruf had a two-run homer for Philadelphia and Chase Utley came through with a pinch-hit RBI double in the ninth, but the Phillies fell to 0-6-2 in their last eight series against NL East foes, going 9-19 over that stretch.
The Angels swept a two-game set in Philadelphia from May 13-14 and have won seven in a row in this series since a loss to the Phils on June 9, 2003 in Anaheim.