OAKLAND, Calif. -- Just after the first inning of Wednesday's 3-2 win over the A's, Rangers starter C.J. Wilson looked at the middle finger on his pitching hand and saw a blister had popped up.
Wilson dealt with it and found a way to go six innings, but he didn't have quite the same bite on his cutter and wasn't completely comfortable.
"It's not a big deal," Wilson said. "I've learned how to adjust to it."
Wilson still managed to go six innings and allowed two runs on five hits. It's the fifth straight start that Wilson has pitched at least six innings and allowed two or fewer earned runs. He has allowed just three earned runs in his last four starts -- that's a 0.92 ERA. Wilson had eight strikeouts, climbing over the 200 mark. He's the first left-handed pitcher in Rangers history to do that and the first Rangers pitcher since Nolan Ryan in 1991.
But he had a 1-0 lead on Wednesday until the fifth inning. A double, two singles and a walk gave the A's the lead. Wlison had trouble finishing off hitters in the inning and left the mound with his team behind, a rarity during the second half of the season. But he was up to 111 pitches after six innings and manager Ron Washington went to his bullpen.
"I just wish I wasn't throwing so many pitches in six innings every time out," Wilson said. "I make my own bed out there by going full counts on everybody. It was a lot of two-strike counts and then I get a little amped up and try to strike a guy out instead of throwing a good pitch. After the game I had against these guys last time I felt like if I got ahead in the count I was trying to make them miss, and that's not necessarily the most efficient way to pitch."
Wilson faced 24 batters and went to a full count to seven of them. He had seven at-bats of at least six pitches as his pitch count climbed in a hurry.
"I was battling my control the whole game," Wilson said. "I threw a lot of close pitches, but obviously these guys are disciplined and they're not going to swing if it's borderline. They hung in there really well and hit some through the holes."
"That's why we traded for those guys, so they could come in and shut it down," Wilson said. "Our bullpen has been pitching great lately and I have a lot of confidence in them."