Royals-Angels Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated July 23, 2012
A matchup with the slumping Kansas City Royals might give C.J. Wilson just what he needs to get back on track following his worst outing of the season. The Los Angeles Angels left-hander will try to do just that while helping his team continue its recent success at home Monday night. Wilson (9-6, 2.82 ERA) had a 1.74 ERA over his 10 starts before Wednesday's 7-2 loss in Detroit. He was responsible for all seven of those season-high runs over six innings. "I think it was just an anomaly," he said. "They hit a lot of grounders in the right spots, and a couple balls that landed just in front of our outfielders. Over the course of a season, those things usually even out." Wilson would appear to have the chance to counteract that poor outing with a better one against the Royals, who have lost 15 of 20 overall and eight of 10 on the road. He's also 3-0 with a 1.90 ERA over his last three matchups. Kansas City's rotation, meanwhile, has a 7.63 ERA over the past 20 games and recently acquired Jeremy Guthrie gave up five runs in his first start with the team, a 7-5 defeat to Minnesota on Sunday. "We need to find ways to win more games here," manager Ned Yost told the team's website. "It will be kind of good to go to a little bit cooler climate and see if we can get our feet underneath us, and come back on a roll." The scheduled starter for Monday's game, Bruce Chen (7-8, 5.57), also hasn't helped the Royals lately, going 0-2 with a 10.42 ERA in four starts this month. The left-hander, however, pitched well in the season opener in Anaheim, allowing three hits over six scoreless innings in a 5-0 loss. Chen is 1-0 with a 1.40 ERA in three career road starts against the Angels (52-44) and Kansas City (40-54) has won nine of 12 matchups, including two of three in Anaheim from April 6-8. The Angels, though, have won 11 of their last 15 home games and took two of three from AL West-leading Texas this weekend following a 2-5 road trip. Mike Trout broke an AL rookie and franchise records during a 7-4 win Sunday night by scoring a run in a 14th consecutive game. "When we have Trout on base, there's a pretty good chance that we're going to score," first baseman Albert Pujols said. Pujols contributed his fifth home run in 11 games and a double. The Angels slugger, batting .375 (15 for 40) with nine RBIs since the All-Star break, has also hit .375 with 16 homers over 54 career games against Kansas City. "I'm just going to go out there and give my best - for the fans, for the team and for this organization," he said. "Sometimes I try to do too much, like (earlier) in the year. But I always try to relax, have fun and do what I can do. Obviously that didn't happen in April, but it's a long season. And hopefully at the end, we'll be raising the trophy." Pujols has two solo home runs and a double in 10 lifetime at-bats against Chen.
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