How CJ Wilson. He started the game with a one-pitch line-drive out courtesy of Rajai Davis, then followed that up with an eleven-pitch walk to Ian Kinsler. Who were we to get tonight, Dr. CJ or Mr. Wilson? Getting Miguel Cabrera to immediately roll into a double play to end the first was a notch in the Dr. CJ column, to be sure.
However, the top of the third was all Mr. Wilson. After giving up a leadoff single to James McCann, he induced a groundball from Jose Iglesias and gunned McCann at second. Mr. Wilson then struck out Anthony Gose to lull us into a false sense of security. Two outs, that's good. We got this. Not quite. Rajai Davis drew the base on balls. Ian Kinsler drew the base on balls. Up steps Mr. I-Shouldn't-Really-Be-An-MVP-Let-Alone-A-Two-Time-Back-To-Back-MVP. Mr. Wilson pitched Cabrera to 1-2 before going to a full count and proceeding to plunk him on the right foot to bring in a run for the Tigers. Fortunately, Mr. Wilson finished off the inning by striking out Yoenis Cespedes. And he was only a measly 37 pitches worse for wear.
Truly, this was a Beauty and the Beast of a pitching performance for CJ: 6.0 IP, 7 K, 5 BB, 2 H, 1 ER, 107 pitches. Luckily, Beauty won out tonight. Or was it Dr. Jekyll? I should know this.
The Angels' batters faced George Runi Farmer aka Buck. I'm guessing one parent really liked the name Runi and the other preferred Buck, but I digress. Aybar actually led the game off with a leadoff hit. From the leadoff spot! After Trout grounded out, Albert Pujols hit a dinger just over the left-field fence and got the scoring going the right way. The 2014 Angels way. What's that? It's 2015? Oh. Must be #TBT. I'm sorry, I'll never do that again. Matt Joyce kept the homers coming in the second when he blasted the first pitch he saw over the right-field wall. Who is this guy what did he do with the real Matt Joyce? By the way, that dinger was Almond's second in as many days.
In the top of the fifth, Kole kept the game 3-1 with a fantastic catch and release to snuff out any idea that Anthony Gose had about tagging up from third. After getting Miguel Cabrera to line out, the bottom of the fifth rolled around and Johnny
G In Da Hood "#1 in the Hood" G (h/t to red floyd) legged out a triple against...wait for it...YOENIS CESPEDES! Well, that's one thing that Johnny Giavotella has on Howie Kendrick. Aybar quickly knocked in Johnny with a safety squeeze, making it 4-1, but pulled up lame at first base. Ruh roh, Shaggy. Erick left the game and Taylor Featherston took over at short.
Albert Pujols started the bottom of the sixth by drawing a walk, and Kole Calhoun followed that up with a single. Annoying-but-not-entirely-relevant stat of the night: From the leadoff spot, Kole is hitting .306 this year. From the cleanup spot? .214. Anyway, back to tonight. Freese followed Kole's single with a single of his own to load the bases, making way for slugger Matt Joyce. And slug, he did. He hit a hard grounder to first, but Miguel Cabrera couldn't come up with it after a nice diving stop. The score now 5-1, that was all for Buck Farmer. Normally, I'd say, "Keep your head up, kid, it's only one start." But this start was against the Angels, a team of batters who had never seen you before tonight. You probably should have thrown a no-no through at least seven. Grant Green hit an RBI groundout off of Tigers reliever Angel Nesbitt, and pinch-runner Kirk Nieuwenhuis made his Angels debut by scoring on a wild pitch to Johnny Giavotella. We'll take it. 7-1.
Even though David Freese made it 8-1 in the bottom of the seventh, the real fun was had during a Patented Albert Pujols Baserunning Adventure. DiSarcina saw fit to send Pujols all the way from second, a direct challenge to the arm of one Yoenis Cespedes. Pujols slammed on the brakes about a quarter of the way home. It didn't work out too well. Score that play 9-2-4-2-5. In his first at-bat as an Angel, Kirk Nieuwenheus followed the fun by working a walk to extend the inning and juice the bases. I choose to see this as a sign of things to come. Well, if Chris DESTRUCTOBEAM Iannetta's grand slam immediately following is any indication, I'd say the future is indeed bright!
Fernando Salas and Jose Alvarez scooped up the rest of the kitty droppings, and the Halos went home happy, taking the first game of the four-game set.