ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — C.J. Wilson scattered five hits in his second career shutout and Grant Green homered, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 6-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night.
Wilson (5-3) threw 127 pitches, struck out five and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh by inducing his third double-play grounder of the game.
The two-time All-Star lefty has made 80 starts since his previous shutout and complete game, which was against the Rays on Sept. 6, 2011, while pitching for Texas.
Wilson, who came in leading the majors with 116.3 pitches per start, threw just 75 through the first six innings before singles by Evan Longoria and Yunel Escobar and a walk to Logan Forsythe loaded the bases with one out in the seventh. But Rays RBI leader James Loney grounded into a double play on the next pitch.
Cesar Ramos (1-3) lasted only 35 pitches, getting charged with four runs and four hits through 1 1-3 innings in his seventh start since he was inserted into the rotation to replace the injured Matt Moore.
Howie Kendrick, who entered with a .363 career average against Tampa Bay, opened the scoring in the first with an RBI single and Erick Aybar hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly two batters later.
In the second, Ramos plunked No. 9 hitter Luis Jimenez just below the left knee with a pitch that bounced on the grass first. Collin Cowgill followed with a sharp single to the right of shortstop Escobar and continued to second on rookie center fielder Kevin Kiermaier’s throw to third.
Manager Joe Maddon lifted Ramos at that point and brought in Brandon Gomes, who gave up a sacrifice fly to Mike Trout and an opposite-field ground-rule double by Albert Pujols that landed just inside the right field line.
It was Pujols’ 535th career double, breaking a tie with Lou Gehrig for 34th place. It also ended an RBI drought of nine games and 39 at-bats by the two-time NL MVP since his run-scoring single against the Yankees’ Shawn Kelley on May 6 at Angel Stadium.
Green, who came to the Angels last July in a trade that sent Alberto Callaspo to Oakland, made it 6-0 in the third with his homer to left-center after a two-out double by Chris Iannetta. Green has two home runs in 174 career at-bats. The other one came on Sept. 2, 2013, a solo shot against Tampa Bay’s Josh Lueke at Angel Stadium as a pinch-hitter for Aybar.
NOTES: Lueke was brought in to face Trout with the bases loaded in the sixth and struck him out. He then retired Pujols on a fielder’s choice grounder to short for the third out. … Two seasons ago, Wilson’s teammates built an 8-0 lead for him against Tampa Bay before he allowed seven runs in the fifth inning and ended up with a no-decision as the Rays won 10-8 at Angel Stadium. … Loney appeared in his 200th regular-season game with the Rays, and is averaging an RBI for every two games he’s played for them. He came in batting a major league-best .338 on the road since the start of last season. … Ramos was born in Los Angeles and played his college ball at Long Beach State, where he was in the same rotation with Angels RHP Jered Weaver. The left side of the team’s infield was comprised of Evan Longoria and Troy Tulowitzki, who shared an apartment with Ramos during his junior year. … Kiermaier, who was recalled from Triple-A Durham after CF Desmond Jennings went on the bereavement list following Friday night’s loss, singled in the sixth for his first major league hit.