SEATTLE -- Entering Saturday night's game, C.J. Wilson had dominated the Mariners this season, going 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA in two starts.
That wasn't the case in the Angels' 5-0 loss to Seattle in the third game of the four-game series between the American League West rivals. Wilson battled back from some early command issues to give his team a chance, allowing three runs on five hits over 6 2/3 innings, but he wouldn't allow himself any consolation after the game.
"A loss is a loss," Wilson said. "There's no satisfaction in a loss. It doesn't matter how well you pitch or how bad your stuff is that day or how hard you try. This isn't a try league; this is a win league."
The 34-year-old lefty allowed four walks for just the third time this season and threw just 69 of his 109 pitches for strikes. But after a perfect first inning, it would've been hard to imagine any struggles for Wilson, who needed just 10 pitches to retire Austin Jackson, Franklin Gutierrez and Robinson Cano in order.
"I threw almost all strikes in the first inning," Wilson said. "I was trying to do the same thing [in later innings] and the ball didn't go where I wanted it to go."
Eight of the next 12 hitters Wilson faced reached base and his pitch count rose to 60 after just three innings, but even without his best stuff, he kept the damage there.
"You're not gonna have your A stuff every night," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia of Wilson's performance. "And when he is like that, he has the ability to go out there and compete and keep us in games and I think that was one of those nights tonight."
In the fifth inning, Wilson again had trouble pounding the strike zone, drilling Cano with a 90-mph cutter before allowing a single to Nelson Cruz and walking Kyle Seager to load the bases with no outs.
Wilson didn't get support from the Angels' offense on Saturday night -- four hits, all singles -- but got some timely help on defense from catcher Carlos Perez to limit the damage against him.
An 0-2 slider from Wilson squirted past Perez, but the Angels catcher quickly pounced on the ball, tossing it to Wilson nab Cano at the plate for the first out of the inning. Wilson then got Mark Trumbo swinging and got Jesus Montero to ground out to third to keep the deficit to just three runs.
Including the final two outs of the fifth, Wilson retired the final seven hitters he faced. Without a notch in the win column to end the night, though, he was his own harshest critic.
"Like I said, it's all about winning, and nobody really cares how you do it," Wilson said. "We didn't tonight, and it was my fault."
Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.