KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -The more familiar C.J. Wilson becomes with teams, the more dominant he is.
Wilson gave up just two hits in 7 2-3 innings Monday night to lift the Texas Rangers to a 3-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals and continue an incredible second-half pitching surge. He is 7-0 with a 1.99 earned run average since the All-Star break and has the most wins in the majors during that span.
Wilson (14-5) credits his second-half roll to the familiarity he has gained in facing hitters throughout the year.
``Game experience against the same teams gives me the advantage,' Wilson said. ``Every team I'm facing now, I've faced before at some point in the season. I've had the chance to prepare even more.'
Wilson allowed only a scratch hit to Willie Bloomquist until the eighth inning when Jai Miller delivered a one-out single to center. The left-hander, who had a complete-game win over the Royals in May, struck out six and walked four.
The Bloomquist single was a big bouncer inside first that Mitch Moreland couldn't field cleanly. Asked if he would have had a problem with the scoring decision had that prevented a no-hitter, Wilson was quick to respond.
``Yes,' Wilson said. ``That was a real hit that Miller got. The other one was kind of like a bad-hop grounder. I was looking at it like that was a no-hitter for me. But I still had to throw another (five) outs to get it and I didn't throw those outs.'
Bloomquist gave credit to Wilson for keeping the Royals down the whole night.
``He's just real deceptive,' Bloomquist said.
Bloomquist wasn't about to enter a debate against whether Wilson deserved to take a no-hitter into the eighth.
``That's really not for me to decide,' Bloomquist said. ``I put the ball in play and try to get to first as fast as I can.'
Wilson's outing was the longest scoreless performance by a Texas pitcher while allowing two hits or less since Chris Young on Aug. 17, 2005. Facing Cleveland that night, Young allowed two hits over eight innings.
Neftali Feliz worked the ninth for his 33rd save in 36 opportunities, giving Texas its third win in its last 10 road games in the opener of a 10-game trip.
Kyle Davies (6-9) went 8 1-3 innings, allowing three runs - two earned - on ten hits with six strikeouts and a walk.
``You've got to give credit to C.J.,' Davies said. ``He pitched a real good ballgame.'
The Rangers got the only run they would need in the second. Following a leadoff double by Nelson Cruz in his first at-bat after coming off the disabled list, Davies got David Murphy on a fly to right before Bengie Molina hit a run-scoring single.
Texas added to its lead in the fifth on a triple by former Royals player Andres Blanco, who went 3 for 4. Elvin Andrus added a run-scoring single and Michael Young delivered a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Wilson issued a couple of walks in the sixth, but got Jason Kendall on a double-play bouncer that ended the threat.
Notes: The Rangers confirmed that LHP Derek Holland will take over the No. 5 spot in the rotation, with Rich Harden moving to the bullpen. Holland will start in Minnesota on Friday. ... Rangers manager Ron Washington originally had Josh Hamilton in center field on Monday, but then shuffled his lineup, with Hamilton serving as the designated hitter. Due to a wearisome schedule in recent weeks, Washington wanted to get Hamilton off his feet. Normal DH Vladimir Guerrero started in right field. . On the night that he was named Texas League Player of the Year, Royals' prospect Mike Moustakas had 11 RBIs for Triple-A Omaha against Round Rock.
The Associated Press News Service
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