PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — C.J. Wilson doesn’t mind the unusual in spring training.
The Los Angeles Angels left-hander hopes these spring starts help him prepare for anything that the regular-season brings.
He had plenty of practice in his three innings in Thursday’s 12-3 victory over the San Diego Padres.
“Today was the Twilight Zone, and sometimes that happens in a baseball. It was cool,” Wilson said. “It was fun to battle and scratch and come out of it OK.”
Wilson went three innings with a run allowed and six hits. He struck out two.
In the interim, he got some unusual outs. The strangest was the first, when he backed up a botched exchange at first base, crashed into a tarp rollup and threw a perfect strike to get Everth Cabrera on the way to second base.
Then Will Venable struck out and reached on a passed ball. Wilson didn’t fret, and used his next pitch to get a double play. He used a quick slide step — he’s been working on one this spring — to strike out a batter and help catch a base stealer.
Wilson was even OK with a home run allowed to Padres left fielder Jesus Guzman because it gave him a change to deal with adversity.
“Even that’s something you need to practice,” Wilson said. “You have to recover after a home run. You have to fight through a long inning. It’s great when you’re coasting, but the regular-season won’t always go great. You have to respond, and you have to get mentally prepared for that right now.”
Wilson threw 27 of 38 pitches for strikes, primarily using fastballs and changeups. He got to strikeouts on sliders, and believed he was in firm command during his second start of the spring.
He appreciated getting strange outs, and considers himself better prepared for another strong season.
“It was awesome to go through this with some strange experiences,” Wilson said. “When weird things happen during the regular season, you have to keep your head. You have to stay focused.”
Wilson received early support from second baseman Howie Kendrick, who homered in the first inning and was 2 for 3 overall.
Los Angeles catcher Chris Iannetta also went deep early against Padres starter Freddy Garcia, who was knocked around for the third straight time. He gave up three runs and three hits, and has given up 11 runs in 6 2-3 innings this spring.
Garcia, a non-roster invitee fighting for a spot in the Padres’ rotation, also struck out three with solid breaking pitches.
His fastball, however, got him in trouble. That’s been a common theme during this spring’s starts.
“He’s leaving fastballs up in the zone and, like it would for any pitcher, it leaves him vulnerable,” Padres manager Bud Black said.
“Mixing secondary pitches will help Freddy, but he’s going to have to continue to work the fastball better.”
Black said it’s too early in the spring for Garcia to be falling behind other contenders for the No. 5 rotation spot.
Casey Kelly, one of those contenders, gave up two runs in three innings after Garcia’s exit.
The Angels also pounded Padres reliever Tommy Layne, scoring four runs in the seventh inning. Travis Witherspoon did most of the damage with a three-run home run.
Angels second baseman Taylor Lindsey went 2 for 2 with a home run, four RBIs and three runs scored.
NOTES: Padres OF Carlos Quentin is expected to make his spring debut on Friday against the Chicago White Sox, weather permitting. Padres manager Bud Black said he will be a designated hitter. … RHP Andrew Cashner threw live batting practice and reported no physical issues after the session. Cashner is recovering from a lacerated thumb. He is expected to pitch in a game next week. … OF Donavan Tate, the No. 3 overall pick in 2009, will not report to minor-league camp when position players report on Friday for personal reasons. … Los Angeles OF Vernon Wells was hit in the hand by a pitch and was lifted for a pinch runner, but he did not suffer an injury. … Angels RHP Ryan Madson is expected to throw off a mound next week, for the first time this spring. He missed last season with a torn elbow ligament.