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Wilson hurt early in Angels' 4-3 loss to Braves

By Charles Odum, Associated Press | Posted - Jun. 13, 2014 at 10:11 p.m.

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ATLANTA (AP) — Poor control ruined C.J. Wilson's first inning — and his night.

Wilson hit the first batter he faced, Jason Heyward. One out later, he walked Freddie Freeman. Then came his biggest mistake, a fastball to Evan Gattis over the middle of the plate.

Wilson gave up back-to-back homers in the first inning, including a three-run shot by Gattis, and the Angels' comeback finished one run short as Los Angeles fell to the Atlanta Braves 4-3 on Friday night.

Chris Johnson followed the Gattis homer with a drive over the centerfield wall for a 4-0 lead.

Gattis was given the green light to swing on a 3-0 pitch. The Braves' catcher said he hit the homer over the left field wall on a "decent" pitch from Wilson.

Wilson's description of the pitch was not so kind.

"That pitch just didn't move at all," Wilson said. "It was right down the middle. Obviously the guy's got great power and he's on a tear right now."

Manager Mike Scioscia said Wilson was hurt by his lack of control on his pitches in the inning.

"He almost worked his way out of it but C.J. just was behind in too many counts and it eventually caught up with him," Scioscia said.

Wilson (7-6) agreed.

"It was the worst perfect storm of missed locations in the first inning, I guess you could call it," Wilson said.

"When you give up four runs in the first inning, it's obviously crappy."

It was the first time this season Wilson allowed as many as four runs in an inning.

Wilson had allowed only one homer in his last five starts before allowing the consecutive shots. He didn't allow another run in his six innings.

The homer over the left field wall was the 14th for Gattis, leaving him tied for third place in the National League. He had two hits, giving him a 13-game hitting streak, Atlanta's longest this season.

Aaron Harang (5-5) allowed one run in six innings to end a streak of five consecutive starts without a win.

Heyward left the game with a bruised right hand in the second inning after being hit by the pitch from Wilson in the first. The Braves said X-rays were negative and Heyward is day to day.

The Angels trailed 4-1 before Albert Pujols had a two-run single off Shae Simmons in the eighth. Craig Kimbrel struck out Raul Ibanez to cap a perfect ninth inning for his 19th save.

Harang, 36, earned his first win in eight career starts against the Angels. He was 0-4 with a 10.48 ERA in four 2013 starts for Seattle against the Angels.

Harang gave up four hits and three walks with two strikeouts.

The Angels scored in the third when Hank Conger hit a leadoff double before moving to third and then scoring on two wild pitches from Harang.

Braves center fielder B.J. Upton dropped Kyle Calhoun's liner for an error, helped Los Angeles in the eighth. Upton caught up to the ball but couldn't hold on when trying for a basket catch at his waist.

Mike Trout's bloop double left runners on second and third with one out. Pujols, who has hit .347 in his career against the Braves, then punched a two-run single past second baseman Tommy La Stella.

Simmons struck out Howie Kendrick and ended the inning on Erick Aybar's grounder to first base.

"We couldn't push that tying run across in the eighth," Scioscia said.

Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons left his feet to make a diving catch of a sharply hit grounder by Josh Hamilton in the sixth. Simmons bounced up to throw out Hamilton in a close play at first base.

"That is probably one of the best plays I've seen in a long time," Harang said.

NOTES: Wilson took his first interleague loss with the Angels. He had been 5-0 with a 3.29 ERA in eight interleague starts with Los Angeles. ... Scioscia said LHP Tyler Skaggs (right hamstring) could return from the 15-day DL next weekend. ... Atlanta's Gavin Floyd will face Garrett Richards in a matchup of right-handers on Saturday night.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Charles Odum


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