ANAHEIM — Getting ahead of hitters has been the primary reason for C.J. Wilson's recent stretch of success.
The Los Angeles Angels' left-hander retired 18 consecutive batters at one point during his duel with Oakland's Dan Straily, and Alberto Callaspo homered in a 2-0 victory over the Athletics 2-0 Saturday night. But at no point in the game did Wilson feel comfortable.
"Comfort is like a four-letter word in baseball. I mean, you get too comfortable and guys start whacking you all over the place. So you have to stay adamant and stay vigilant," the two-time All-Star said. "It's like workplace safety — if there hasn't been an accident in 99 days, you're looking to extend that streak. I was upset that I walked a couple of guys tonight, because the last game I didn't have any walks."
Wilson (10-6) gave up three hits in 8 1-3 innings, struck out eight and walked two. Jed Lowrie's two-out double in the first and Nate Freiman's leadoff single in the second were the only hits off him until Lowrie's one-out single in the ninth on Wilson's 119th and final pitch.
"My first-pitch strike percentage has been up significantly over the last couple of years, and it's something I've been getting better at as my mechanics get more refined," Wilson said. "This whole year, it's been more of a theme."