Wilson stung by long ball against Orioles

Wilson stung by long ball against Orioles

Wilson stung by long ball against Orioles
ANAHEIM -- To Angels starter C.J. Wilson, there's no such thing as a cheap home run at Angel Stadium.

Though he hadn't allowed the Orioles much of anything up until the fifth, it was one mistake in that inning that proved costly.

The left-hander surrendered a three-run homer to Steve Pearce, and it was all the Orioles needed to defeat the Angels, 3-2, on Friday night.

After Wilson (9-5) allowed a hit to Wilson Betemit and walked Mark Reynolds, he went went 3-0 and eventually 3-2 to Pearce before the outfielder hit his third home run of the season and second against Wilson, giving the Orioles (45-38) a 3-1 lead.

"That level of accountability is the difference between guys that are average and guys that are good," Wilson said. "The bottom line is: You give up a home run, it's a bad pitch. There's no such thing as a cheap home run in this stadium. The accountability falls on my shoulders."

The loss was the fifth in the last eight games for the Angels (46-38). Coupled with a Rangers loss, however, the Halos remained four games back in the American League West. Friday night was also the third straight game in which an Angels pitcher has surrendered a three-run shot and the ninth time in the last 11 games in which they have allowed a homer.

Wilson lasted seven innings, giving up three runs on four hits and three walks. He didn't allow his first hit until he had recorded two outs in the fourth inning. It was just the second time in 11 starts he had given up at least three runs. But he was bested by a former Angels farmhand who was paying tribute to a late Angels pitcher.

Wearing a glove once belonging to former teammate Nick Adenhart, first-time starter Miguel Gonzalez shut down the Angels for seven innings, giving up just one run on three hits and two walks.

Gonzalez and Adenhart, who died in a car crash following a start with the Angels in April 2009, were close friends and had been teammates for parts of three seasons in the Angels organization. Adenhart gave Gonzalez the glove when the two were in big league camp in 2007, and the righty has held onto it ever since. He said he couldn't think of a better time -- his first career start, and the fact that it was against the Angels -- to take the field with the memento.

"I've been taking it with me every time to the road," Gonzalez said. "I've always had it with me. I used it once in a while [in practice], but I try to keep it there with me all the time. I thought it was great to do it today."

Other than a solo homer from Mark Trumbo in the fourth inning, his 21st of the season, Gonzalez (1-0) didn't allow a runner to advance past first base. He simply didn't allow the Angels to get many quality looks at him, manager Mike Scioscia said.

"He pounded the zone, had good command of his fastball in and out and threw some breaking balls in off counts," Scioscia said. "He pitched a nice game for those guys. Some of the mistakes he might have made where he left it out over the plate, we missed them."

Trumbo's homer was the 50th of his career in just 232 games, which is a franchise record. Tim Salmon hit 50 in 245 games. But it was the only offense the Angels could muster until Gonzalez was lifted after the seventh.

Against reliever Darren O'Day in the eighth inning, the Angels added their second run on Mike Trout's 11th homer of the year. They had a chance to add more with two outs following a triple from Torii Hunter and an intentional walk to Albert Pujols, but Troy Patton came in to force a Kendrys Morales fly to second, ending the threat.

"[Wilson] got to a certain point and gave us a chance to win, but just on the offensive side, those guys kept us down," Scioscia said. "We didn't have many opportunities to open up the game."

Joe McIntyre is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.