ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson knew his offense could come back from a 2-0 deficit in the first inning, even against one of the hottest pitchers in the league.
But to do that, he also knew he had to keep the Angels from scoring any more runs.
"You just keep telling yourself, 'We're going to come back and score. We're going to come back and score,' " Wilson said. "Once we got one, I was like, 'OK, it's not a shutout. We can do this.' "
Wilson gave up a triple and a double in that first inning, with an error on Elvis Andrus (a tough error in that it was a tough play) that allowed the Angels to take their first lead of the series. The Rangers offense kept getting chances but failed to capitalize on them. A run in the fifth on an RBI single by Josh Hamilton cut the deficit in half and then Mitch Moreland tied it with a homer in the next inning.
Wilson just kept chugging. He allowed just three hits after the first inning and didn't walk anyone until the seventh, when a two-out base-on-balls to Erick Aybar didn't end up hurting him. At one point, Wilson retired 13 of 15 batters.
"When you're a starter, that the advantage is that you have time for your offense to score," Wilson said. "You have to hold it so they can come back. You can't fold your tent because you gave up a couple of runs early."
Wilson exited with the game tied, but the Rangers took the lead in the next half-inning, eventually giving him his 12th win of the season. Koji Uehara came in for the eighth and gave up a solo home run to Howie Kendrick to make it a one-run game.
That's when Neftali Feliz trotted in for the ninth. Manager Ron Washington said he never thought of using Mike Adams in that situation despite the fact that Feliz had pitched on Saturday and Sunday, warmed up Monday, and threw three pitches to one batter on Tuesday.
"He's my closer," Washington said. "It was his game."
And after allowing a leadoff single to Mark Trumbo, Feliz finished it off, getting the next three batters. It showed once again that the Rangers pitching can match the Angels. That's what's happened in the first three games of this series and it's a big reason they are seven games up in the AL West, the club's biggest lead of the season.