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OAK@LAA: Wilson strikes out eight over six innings

While Jeremy Hellickson is a perfect 2-0 to begin the season, the Rays' right-hander isn't resting on his laurels. Instead, he's focused on what to improve on.

"I definitely need to get better with my pitch count," Hellickson said. "That starts with attacking the zone better and letting my defense play."

He'll get the chance to do that on Wednesday against the Angels at Tropicana Field.

In his last two starts, Hellickson has thrown 205 pitches in just 10 2/3 innings. That increase has a lot to do with his tendency to allow two-out walks.

In his start on Thursday against the Blue Jays, the right-hander gave up two earned runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings for the win, but the three walks he issued with two outs contributed to his early exit.

"It's not focus. I'm probably just trying to be too fine," Hellickson said. "I don't really want to give up a hit in that situation. Especially an extra-base hit. I'm just trying to be too fine and more often than not it's been hurting me."

Hellickson will be up against Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson, who's been nothing but dominant in two road starts this year.

Wilson owns a 2-0 record with a 1.38 ERA away from Angel Stadium, but in his first home start on Thursday against the A's, he took the loss.

Committing a throwing error in the game, which scored two runs and led to a three-run fourth inning by the A's, Wilson finished giving up four runs on two hits in six innings of work.

"It was a fairly easy play," Wilson said after the game. "I just tried to make an easy throw, but I took it too easy and threw it short. It wasn't a short-arm, it was just kind of a changeup, just tried to lob it in there. It just didn't get there."

Getting only two runs of support in that game, Wilson can only hope the Angels' bats will come to life on Wednesday after the team scored no runs in Tuesday's 5-0 loss to the Rays.

Lackluster to start the season, the Halos' offense came into Tuesday's game against the Rays ranked 10th in runs scored, tied for last in home runs (six) and hitting only .250 with runners in scoring position.

"For me, the last few games I've been seeing a lot better swings -- their approach. That's what happens to a lot of teams," Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher said. "You look around the league, it's happened to a lot of teams. It's not just us. It's everywhere. You just play through it. That's part of baseball. That's one of our things, just go out there and play the games and concentrate on giving good quality at-bats."

Angels: Trumbo mans right field
For the series opener against the Rays on Tuesday at Tropicana Field, Mark Trumbo started at his fifth position in the season's first month -- right field, as the No. 5 hitter.

Trumbo has previously started at third base (four times), designated hitter (three), first base and left field (one each).

"It's a work in progress," said manager Mike Scioscia, who trotted out his 15th different lineup for Game No. 17. "I think in spring he showed the skill set to do what we feel a third baseman needs to do. It's just that he had a couple of bumps in the road early, but we're still working on it. He played third the other night, and we're going to still mix it in there."

Rays: Nothing official with Matsui, Rays
While the Rays are expected to sign former World Series MVP Hideki Matsui to a Minor League deal, nothing has become official yet.

"None of that is official right now," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I have nothing to comment on that, that's all speculation at this point. You have not heard that from me. You just heard that from me, but you haven't heard the other thing from me."

Matsui, 37, played in 141 games with the Athletics last season, hitting .251 with 12 home runs and 72 RBIs. He started just 27 games in left field, serving as the team's designated hitter 108 times and entering as a pinch-hitter in his other six appearances.

Worth noting
• Hellickson has started against the Angels one other time in his career, taking the loss in his first start of the 2011 season. In that game, he went 5 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits.

• Torii Hunter is eight runs shy of 1,000 for his career.

• The Angels have hit two home runs in their last 69 innings and have homered in just six of their 17 contests. Comments