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Gang of two: C.J. Wilson and Albert Pujols beat up on A's, Angels win 1-0

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The Angels and Athletics had yet another close contest to add to their lore. This time, the Angels needed only great pitching, and one homer from the scorching hot Albert Pujols to walk away with a win.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Angels 1  Athletics 0

The Angels took on Oakland tonight for the second game of their weekend series. It was a chance to build on their little two game winning streak they have going, and also win their second series in a row...but it’s important to remember the teams involved here. These guys match up every year and have seemingly endless squeakers in their history, so something as easy as beating the last place A’s is never quite as it seems. Tonight’s game wasn’t easy, exactly, but it did only take a couple Angels to get a shutout victory against them. Go figure.

This game was a close one, and really only boiled down to baseball elements: Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.

In the first inning, Albert Pujols continued his torrid two-week stretch in which he’s hit 10 HRs in 15 games, this time with yet another solo shot to left field. It was an arcing rainbow to the bullpen, where Pujols has brutally parked so many balls as of late. This home run would have him now cohabiting the AL HR leader board with Nelson Cruz and teammate Mike Trout.

The other hero for the Angels was C.J. Wilson. He completely turned around his last couple starts and pitched an absolute gem for seven innings. In that time, he blanked the A’s on two hits, and racked up eight strikeouts, to boot. Wilson was locked, in command of his fastball and attacking the plate; he would get through a couple innings by going 1-2-3 and showed off some good defense on top of everything else. It’s not against top MLB competition, but it’s a source of confidence and a step towards erasing his last couple starts. Of course, he still has that pesky problem of run support, but this was one game where the Angels walked that razor’s edge and lived to tell.

In the eighth, it was Joe Smith, and Huston Street in the ninth, and the Angels slammed the door on a skin-o’-their-teeth victory, winning 1-0. The halo was lit up, and the fireworks could commence. These aren’t the most convincing of wins, but it’s nice to see that we can be bitten by the run differential bug, but still sneak away with the W. One thing is certain: we’re seeing vintage Albert Pujols for the first time since he’s been an Angel. Serious All Star consideration needs to be given, but regardless, he has me on the edge of my seat for every at-bat. Albert and the Angels will be back at 12:35 pst tomorrow to try and sweep the Athletics.