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Los Angeles at Minnesota

Venue: Target Field
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The Los Angeles Angels introduced new slugger Albert Pujols to the home crowd in their season-opening series that didn't conclude how they would've liked.

They're hoping their other high-priced free-agent signing can get their road trip off to a solid start.

C.J. Wilson takes the mound for his Angels debut when Los Angeles opens a six-game trip Monday against the Minnesota Twins, who are off to their worst start in 31 years.

Roaring cheers greeted Pujols and the Angels in their 5-0 season-opening win over Kansas City on Friday, but they dropped the final two games of the series, falling 7-3 Sunday.

Pujols went 2 for 3 and had an RBI groundout in the first inning, finishing the series 3 for 10 with two doubles. Vernon Wells homered Sunday, while Howie Kendrick added three hits.

Kendrick said the Angels (1-2) have no reason to be concerned.

"We've got a great team here, and if we're going to get down about losing two in a row, then why are we even here?" Kendrick said. "It's just a matter of putting it together and getting those key hits."

Los Angeles will play three games in Minnesota before facing the New York Yankees to finish the trip.

"It's not a concern. The talent is there," said Mark Trumbo, who had two hits. "I mean, who's to say we can't go on a real nice run on this road trip?"

The Angels hope Wilson can help get them started off right.

The left-hander, fresh off back-to-back World Series appearances with Texas, signed a five-year, $77.5 million contact with Los Angeles during the offseason after finishing 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA in 2011.

Wilson, though, went 0-3 with a 5.79 ERA in the postseason for the Rangers, and he'll look to put that behind him against a Twins team he hasn't fared all that well against. He's 2-2 with a 6.67 ERA in five career starts against Minnesota, allowing at least five runs in three of those outings.

"One of the biggest things is my mechanics and making sure I stay consistent," Wilson told the team's official website. "I made some adjustments in spring training. The key is to focus on every time you throw that ball and be consistent."

The Twins scored five runs in their first three games combined, dropping to 0-3 for the first time since losing their first four in 1981 following a 3-1 loss to Baltimore on Sunday.

Minnesota didn't have a hit until Justin Morneau doubled to lead off the eighth inning, finally breaking through on Josh Willingham's RBI double. It didn't score a run until the eighth in any contest, and manager Ron Gardenhire said he hopes heading back to Minnesota will help his club regroup.

"It's nice to get home," Gardenhire said. "Unfortunately, you'd have liked to win a game or two here. You'd come home with a little bit better atmosphere in our clubhouse. Going home always should make you feel a little bit better, getting in front of our fans. So we'll see."

Right-hander Nick Blackburn will make his first start of the season after going 7-10 with a 4.49 ERA in 2011. He finished 0-4 with a 5.21 ERA over his last eight starts before being shut down Aug. 22 with a strained right forearm.

He's 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA in six career starts versus the Angels, beating them 5-3 on April 6, 2010, in his most recent outing against Los Angeles.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Probable Starters

C.J. Wilson, LHP
2012 stats
0.0 Innings Pitched 0.0
0-0 Wins-Losses 0-0
--- Earned Run Average ---
0 Walks 0
0 Strikeouts 0
0.0 Pitches Per Start 0.0
Career vs. opponent
51.1 Innings Pitched 35.0
2-3 Wins-Losses 1-3
4.73 Earned Run Average 5.40

Nick Blackburn, RHP
Weather
weather image  Afternoon clouds. Cool.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
54°F38°F18mph/NW25%7%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Los Angeles2nd AL West6041.59436-4 L 1
Minnesota5th AL Central4655.455124-6 L 1
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Nick Blackburn
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Kendrick137001.538
Abreu168141.500
Hunter136100.462
Callaspo176111.353
Izturis92001.222
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs C.J. Wilson
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Carroll220001.000
Plouffe21001.500
Willingham187115.389
Valencia83011.375
Span134014.308
 

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Injuries
Los Angeles
PlayerInjury
R. BrasierForearm
S. BurnettElbow
C. CowgillNose, thumb
G. GreenBack
B. MoranElbow
C. WilsonAnkle
Minnesota
PlayerInjury
K. GibsonBack
P. HughesShin
J. MauerOblique
R. NolascoElbow
M. PelfreyGroin
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Mar 31CHWCHW 5-3Sale Nolasco 
Apr 2CHWCHW 7-6Belisario Deduno 
Apr 3CHWMIN 10-9Thielbar Lindstrom 
Jun 19MINMIN 4-2Fien Petricka 
Jun 20MINMIN 5-4Perkins Webb 
Jun 21MINMIN 4-3Correia Rienzo 
Jun 22MINMIN 6-5Hughes Danks 
Jul 24MINCHW 5-2Noesi Hughes 
Jul 25MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Jul 26MIN 7:10 PM EDT  
Jul 27MIN 2:10 PM EDT  
Aug 1CHW 8:10 PM EDT  
Aug 2CHW 7:10 PM EDT  
Aug 3CHW 2:10 PM EDT  
Sep 2MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Sep 3MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Sep 12CHW 8:10 PM EDT  
Sep 13CHW 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 14CHW 2:10 PM EDT