Angels-Blue Jays Preview
By ALAN FERGUSON
(AP) -- The Los Angeles Angels could use another stellar outing from C.J. Wilson following three poor pitching performances against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Los Angeles hasn't lost a start made by Wilson in more than six weeks, and the left-hander will try to extend his win streak to six games during Sunday's series finale against the Blue Jays.
After posting a 2.43 ERA during a 6-1 stretch, the Angels (43-35) have given up 25 runs while dropping two of three in Toronto. Their starters have yielded 21 of those runs, including 10 by Garrett Richards in 4 1-3 innings during an 11-2 loss Saturday.
"That was a bad game. We're just going to turn the page on it," manager Mike Scioscia said after his team lost consecutive games for the first time since June 3-4. "We just got beat up today, and we've got to get better tomorrow."
Yunel Escobar's homer was part of a seven-run second inning, matching the most the Blue Jays (40-38) have scored in one frame this season. Brett Lawrie added a three-run shot as part of a three-hit afternoon.
Escobar is 5 for 12 with a team-best five RBIs during the series.
Wilson (9-4, 2.36 ERA) would appear to be the right man to squelch Toronto's hitters as he's 5-0 with a 1.30 ERA over seven starts - all Angels victories - since losing to the Chicago White Sox on May 17.
He won Tuesday despite allowing a homer for the first time in eight outings, as that was the only run he surrendered in seven innings of a 7-3 victory over Baltimore.
Wilson was almost as effective in defeating the Blue Jays on May 5 in Anaheim, allowing two runs over eight innings and striking out nine in a 6-2 victory. However, he hasn't been nearly as good in two career starts at Toronto, going 0-2 with an 8.38 ERA.
Jose Bautista has never gone deep off Wilson but is 3 for 8 against him. Bautista has seven of his major league-leading 26 homers over his last 12 games.
Wilson will pitch opposite Aaron Laffey (0-0, 1.80), who was superb Tuesday in his first major league start since July 19, 2010.
Laffey, called up from Triple-A Las Vegas on June 12, pitched six scoreless innings in Boston, giving up three hits and two walks. The Blue Jays' bullpen, however, couldn't hold a lead in the 5-1 defeat.
"I've always done whatever the team needed me to do, but getting this opportunity is something I've been waiting for a couple of years now," Laffey said.
The left-hander is making his first start versus the Angels since July 29, 2009. He hasn't fared well the last two times he started against them, going 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA.
He's never had to face Mike Trout, who is tied for the AL lead with a .336 average but had an 11-game hitting streak snapped Saturday. He's gone hitless in back-to-back games just three times this season.
Los Angeles hasn't lost three straight since May 19-21, with all of those defeats coming on the road. The Angels had won 14 of 15 away from home until a 7-5 loss Friday night.
Updated June 30, 2012