- 142 wins
- 110 wins
DENVER -- Torii Hunter had never played at Coors Field before Friday night, and C.J. Wilson had never pitched here. What an introduction it was for the two of them.Hunter hit a pair of two-run home runs -- the 17th multi-homer game of his career -- while Wilson fanned nine Rockies en route to his 50th career win as the Angels cruised to a 7-2 victory Friday night. The Angels have won 12 of their past 16. "My first time playing here, my whole career I've been trying to get over here," Hunter said. "I like this stadium. I used to wonder if I'd see this place before I [retired]." "They told me the ball doesn't fly here as much," he added with a laugh. With two outs in the third and Mike Trout on first, Hunter took a first-pitch offering from Rockies pitcher Alex White (2-4) and shot it back over the center-field wall for his seventh home run of the year. Hunter's next at-bat resulted in much of the same. Trout reached on a single to center field and promptly stole second, one of his two steals on the night. White again made a mistake to Hunter -- and again had to watch the ball sail over the fence.
"[White] can really pitch," Hunter said. "I was lucky. That's the way it is sometimes. He left stuff up and I was able to capitalize on it."Hunter drove in his fifth and sixth runs of the game in the ninth inning, singling in John Hester and Maicer Izturis. Albert Pujols followed by doubling in a run. It wouldn't be a vintage Hunter game without one defensive gem, though. Todd Helton tagged up at second and tried advance on a popout to right field in the fifth inning, but Hunter had other ideas, gunning him down with a perfect throw to third. "It was a good throw," Helton said. "I took off running, but my legs didn't work the way I wanted them to work."
After missing more than two weeks in May to be with his 17-year-old son, who was fighting sexual harassment charges in Texas, Hunter has now hit three home runs in his past two games."It's been tough," Hunter said. "I've had injuries before but you're still in baseball mode. I've never had to leave the game and not think about baseball. I had to put all my heart into my family, and my mind is still there. But this is my safe haven."
Wilson (7-4) put the clamps on a Rockies offense that came into the series averaging over five runs a contest. He didn't give up a hit until the fourth inning, when Carlos Gonzalez deposited a bunt down the left side of the infield."I know he hasn't been swinging the bat well lately, but anytime a guy like him drops a bunt down, it's a little shocking," Wilson said. "I was bummed about that, from a competitive standpoint. I guess he just wanted to get on base." Wilson's day was done after eight innings. His final line: five hits, one earned run, a walk and nine strikeouts -- the sixth time in his career he's had as many strikeouts in a game. "He might have gotten a little tired in the eighth, but he made some great pitches," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "A terrific game." The Rockies struggled to manufacture runs in a three-game series against Arizona, combining for five runs. As if things weren't already hard enough, they caught Wilson on a stellar night. "[Wilson] was terrific," said Rockies manager Jim Tracy. "He pounded the strike zone for strike one, he had a real good cutter, he had secondary pitches when he needed them." Wilson gave up 16 runs in a April 19-May 12 span (seven starts) but has now allowed only two earned runs in his past 28 innings pitched (four starts), while his 2.39 ERA is second in the American League. "I really feel like I've been on all year," Wilson said. "It's important to try and get better every day."
Trey Scott is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.