ARLINGTON, Texas -- Put C.J. Wilson on the mound against some of the top teams -- or top pitchers -- in the American League and he's usually at his best.
Against the Yankees, he gave up two runs in eight innings in his lone start this season. He's 2-1 with a 1.33 ERA in four starts (27 innings) against the Angels. And he loves pitching against the Red Sox, allowing just two earned runs in 12 1/3 innings this season for a 1.46 ERA.
Wilson was at it again Monday, bouncing back from a high early pitch count. He threw 40 pitches in the first two innings and then threw 51 in the next four. Wilson said walks hurt his pitch count and that he got "lucky" when the Red Sox swung at some early pitches.
"His stuff is just filthy," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "When we’ve had our full lineup he’s gone through us, so we can’t make an excuse. He’s got a lot of good pitches and he went right through us. We had a couple of chances, but then he made really good pitches.
"He started throwing strikes with all his pitches [after the first two innings]. He was power, cut, change; you name it, he threw it."
Wilson is the first Rangers starter to hit 13 wins and now has 12 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings since the Angels scored two runs off him in the first inning Wednesday. He's 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA in four starts in August with 26 strikeouts and eight walks. Opponents are batting just .167 against him during the month. The key on Monday was that Wilson mixed a bunch of his pitches, a trademark of his when he's got things going. He'll figure out what's working and then work from there.
"You don't really know which pitches you're going to miss and which pitches are going to be effective," Wilson said. "Last game against Anaheim, my sinker was pretty much nonexistent. Every time I threw it they got a hit, so I canned it. Tonight it was working a little bit, the changeup was great, I threw some good cutters, I threw a couple of curve balls for strikes. I had a little bit of everything going."
Wilson is now 4-0 with a 1.08 ERA in five starts against the Red Sox the past two seasons. He's pitched at least 6 2/3 innings and allowed four or fewer hits and one or fewer runs in four of those. Wilson joins David Price as the only major league starters with at least four wins against Boston since the start of last year.
Wilson was pleased to get the 13th win, but he has a bigger goal in mind.
"If we could all win 15 games or something, that would be really great," Wilson said. "That's a goal all the starters have. I want to see everybody win as many games as possible. You want to win every game you pitch, especially this time of year. It's crunch time. The Angels are chasing us and Boston is obviously a phenomenal team. We feel like we played good baseball tonight. We just have to play to our potential."
Former Ranger catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was impressed with his old battery mate.
"Wilson’s a great pitcher and he’s having another great year," Saltalamacchia said. "He was able to mix in four pitches, and when you mix four pitches and throw them for strikes, he’s a tough guy to hit. He pitches to contact and tries to get you to swing at his pitch. He pitched."