(Sports Network) -The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim try to complete the sweep
of the Seattle Mariners as they gradually works their way back into the thick
of things in the American League West standings.
The Angels will send C.J. Wilson to the hill in Sunday's match. The southpaw
has delivered so far as a high-priced free agent, going 5-4 with a 2.90 ERA,
and he is coming off his best start since joining the team.
Wilson pitched eight innings of one hit ball last Tuesday, striking out seven
and walking two in the Angels 5-0 win over Oakland.
"I just had good focus in between pitches," Wilson said of his last outing.
"The win was blowing in (at Oakland Coliseum) so if I fell behind I felt a lot
of confidence I could throw strikes."
The stellar outing was a welcome sign for Wilson and the Halos, as he was
coming off one of his worst performances on May 17 against the White Sox,
where he walked six and allowed four hits and four runs (one earned) in 3 2/3
As a life-long member of the American League West, Wilson is no stranger to
the Mariners. He's pitched in 47 career games as both a starter and a reliever
against Seattle with a 4.04 ERA, and he was even better in 2011, posting a 3-1
record with a 1.53 ERA in four starts.
The Mariners will counter with Hector Noesi, who was the hard-luck loser
against the Rangers last Tuesday after pitching eight strong innings, allowing
three hits, two walks, three earned runs and striking out seven.
Noesi has pitched better than his 2-5 record and 5.26 ERA would indicate. He
has pitched seven innings or more in four of his nine starts and opposing
batters are hitting just .224 off him.
The right-hander has faced the Angels just once in his career, getting touched
up for four earned runs in just two-thirds of an inning on Sept. 10, 2011
as a member of the Yankees' bullpen.
The Angels took the second game of the series on Saturday night, 5-3, marking
their season-high fifth straight win.
Albert Pujols continued to put his early season struggles behind him by going
2-for-5 with a home run, his third straight game with a long ball and his
fourth in five games.
Alberto Callaspo hit a pinch-hit grand slam in the sixth inning, giving the
Halos the lead for good. It was the first pinch-hit slam for the Angels since
Shane Halter belted one against Tampa Bay in 2004.
Jerome Williams (5-2) was solid in the win, going six innings while allowing
three earned runs and striking out five.
Ernesto Frieri pitched a four-out save, his second of the year.
For the Mariners, Felix Hernandez (4-4) pitched six innings and allowed 10
hits and five earned runs in the loss.
Justin Smoak hit a home run for the second consecutive day, his seventh of the
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