Angels can't pick up Williams in loss

Angels can't pick up Williams in loss

Angels can't pick up Williams in loss
ANAHEIM -- In recent days, the Angels have been winning games simply because their pitching had allowed it. The offense has continually struggled with runners in scoring position, but a rotation that has statistically been the best in the American League for most of the year and a bullpen that has drastically turned it around has given them a chance.

Jerome Williams bucked that trend Monday night, giving up four runs while recording only 10 outs in a 5-3 loss to his former team, the Giants, and perfect-game hurler Matt Cain.

Afterward, though, that mattered little. Because while in the Angels clubhouse after his second-shortest start of the season, Williams experienced shortness of breath and was taken to a local hospital, where he stayed overnight to undergo further testing Tuesday morning.

"Unfortunately his outing wasn't what he anticipated or we needed, but now we're dealing with a bigger issue," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Hopefully he's going to be fine."

As of late Monday night, the perception was that he would be.

The club called Williams' trip to the hospital precautionary, and the belief is that he'll rejoin the team Tuesday. Angels players got word of Williams' condition while on the bench around the fourth inning.

"It's tough when your teammate, your brother, is going through some things," outfielder Torii Hunter said. "You try to focus in on the game, but in between pitches or whatever, you're thinking about your brother. But at the same time, pitch is coming, you have to concentrate. Our prayers will go out to [Williams]. And I know he's going to be OK, they say he's going to be OK, and hopefully we'll see him tomorrow."

The Angels (36-32) came in having won seven of their last nine games and seven of their last eight series, but fell to five games back of the Rangers in the AL West despite drawing four walks and notching six hits against Cain. They went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position in the first five innings against Cain and were held hitless by the Giants' bullpen in the final four frames

Health issues aside, Williams' rough start came at a bad time, and not because it was against a Giants team that made him a first-round Draft pick in 1999 and then traded him for current teammate LaTroy Hawkins in May 2005, sending his career in a long, complicated spiral.

It's because Jered Weaver will return to the rotation Wednesday, because the young Garrett Richards has pitched well and because Williams (out of options) has posted a 7.55 ERA during what's now a three-game losing streak.

Williams -- who the Angels don't believe was feeling short of breath while on the mound -- walked four, gave up seven hits and threw 35 of his 75 pitches for balls Monday, moving to 6-5 with a 4.46 ERA on the year and snapping a 21-inning scoreless streak his club carried into the series opener.

After the Angels got on the board with an Albert Pujols sacrifice fly in the first, the Giants (38-30) took a 2-1 lead on an RBI triple by Brandon Crawford in the second. And after the Angels tied it on Mark Trumbo's team-leading 16th homer in the bottom half, San Francisco got RBI singles from Angel Pagan and Ryan Theriot in the next two innings to take a two-run advantage.

An Angels team that had won four of the last six games despite totaling only 11 runs during that span was never able to come back.

Bobby Wilson grounded into an inning-ending double play with a runner in scoring position in the second. Mike Trout -- who became the third rookie in franchise history to steal three bases in a game, giving him an AL-leading 19 on the year -- didn't score despite starting the third inning on second base, and the Angels got only one run in the fourth despite loading the bases with none out, moving to 7-for-55 with runners in scoring position over their last seven games.

Cain wasn't perfect on this night. But he hardly needed to be.

"I don't think I was feeling anything; I think maybe I was still a little amped up from it, trying to go out there and keep it going, in a way," Cain, who has won eight straight starts, said about following up a perfect game. "Obviously I kind of just wanted to do good against these guys. They've got a good lineup, so I think I was maybe a little energized in general, making some pitches that were a little higher on location than I wanted to."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.