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HOUSTON -- C.J. Wilson had a simple plan for his second start after a dud in his seas
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HOUSTON -- C.J. Wilson had a simple plan for his second start after a dud in his season debut. "Just told myself Im going to pick my spot and stay with my spot and not try to overdo it," Wilson said. It was an effective approach, allowing him to pitch eight solid innings while Howie Kendrick and Raul Ibanez each drove in three runs to send the Los Angeles Angels over the Houston Astros 9-1 Monday. The Angels took three of four from Houston after starting the season 0-3. Wilson (1-1) yielded four hits and a run while fanning seven. He looked a lot more like the 17-game winner he was last year than he did in his first start this season when he gave up eight hits and six runs in 5 2-3 innings of a loss to Seattle. In that game, he said, all the hits in that game came when "I basically overthrew or did something mechanically wrong." He didnt have that problem Monday. "I was able to throw curveballs for strikes and changeups for strikes, which was big," Wilson said. "I only threw a couple sliders because I didnt really need to." Houston struggled to get anything going off of him. Jesus Guzman doubled with one out in the second before Wilson retired nine in a row. A double by Chris Carter came with one out in the fifth inning, and Wilson sat down 10 straight after that. The Astros finally got on the board when Carlos Corporan launched a 76 mph curveball into the Crawford Boxes in left field for a home run that made it 8-1. "First-pitch strikes were huge for him and when he did get behind in the count he was able to command some off-speed pitches to get back into the count," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He couldnt have really done a much better job than he did." Though he didnt need his slider to keep the Astros off-balance, he did pull out a seldom-used pitch once to try and handle Guzman. "His third at-bat I threw him a knuckleball because I literally had no idea what to throw him," Wilson said. Kendrick drove in two with a single in a three-run first inning. He added an RBI with a single when the Angels tacked on three more in the seventh. Kole Calhoun homered off Jarred Cosart (1-1), sending a drive to right field for his second shot of the series to push the lead to 4-0 in the fifth inning. Cosart was done in by a bad first inning where he had to use 32 pitches. He was pulled after allowing three hits, five runs and walking four in six innings. It was a disappointing second start for the 23-year-old who threw five scoreless frames for the win in his 2014 debut against the Yankees. "I spotted them three runs and with a lineup like that and with a team like that you cant do that," he said. "Its hard for our team to play from behind obviously. I kind of had us back on our heels." A pair of walks and a fielders choice loaded the bases with one out in the first inning for Cosart. A broken-bat groundout by Ibanez sent one home to make it 1-0. Carter had to navigate around the flying piece of bat that stuck in the dirt right near where he fielded the ball. Kendricks single to shallow right field pushed the lead to 3-0 in the first. Cosart settled down after the first, pitching a perfect second before walking two in a scoreless third and retiring the side in the fourth. Stewart hit a triple with one out in the sixth and scored on a sacrifice fly by Chris Iannetta that made it 5-0. Ibanez drove home two with a single to right field off reliever Brad Peacock in the seventh. NOTES: Houston CF Dexter Fowler was out of the lineup for the fourth straight game because of a stomach virus. Fowler, who spent Friday night at Methodist Hospital and was released Saturday, returned to the ballpark on Monday. He said he was feeling better but was still very weak. The already slim Fowler said he knows he has lost some weight but hadnt stepped on the scale because he didnt want to know how much hed dropped. Manager Bo Porter isnt sure when hell return to the lineup. ... Los Angeles LHP Hector Santiago opposes Seattles James Paxton when the Angels open a series against the Mariners on Tuesday. ... The Astros send LHP Brett Oberholtzer to the mound against Mark Buerhle when they open a series at Toronto on Tuesday. Cheap Pelicans Jerseys China . PETERSBURG, Fla. Cheap New Orleans Pelicans Jerseys .J. -- Omar Cummings helped the Houston Dynamo advance to the MLS Eastern Conference finals. http://www.cheappelicansjerseys.com/?tag...jersey.com) - Longtime Senators star Daniel Alfredsson returned to Ottawa on Thursday to officially announce his retirement. Jordan Crawford Jersey . -- Jonas Hiller is cautiously confident he has kicked his vertigo. Jrue Holiday Jersey . On July 27 cyclings best-known race will host "La Course by Le Tour de France" -- a one-day womens competition staged hours before Tour riders race on the same circuit to finish the three-week event on Paris Champs-Elysees.Day in 100 words or less It was supposed to be a day without drama. A day the bookmakers told us would be rudimentary, seeing France and Germany breeze by Nigeria and Algeria respectively. We should have known better. France were average for 70 minutes and good for 20, scoring late to prevent Nigeria from moving on. Germany, on the other hand, were pathetic for 70 minutes, average for 20 and marginally better in the extra time they needed to see off Algeria. Germany 2-1 Algeria (AET) Germany are in Brazil to win the World Cup. They may be only three wins away but based on this display those victories are going to be very difficult to find. World Cup winners are allowed slow starts and mixed performances along the way, but Joachim Lows side have a lot of work to do between now and July 13. In the end they, just, deserved the win in Porto Alegre but Algeria played a huge part in an enthralling match. They also did a great job at targeting Germanys high defensive line. The problem for Germany was not the position of the line, but the amount of things they did wrong while playing with it. It was clear they didnt want playmakers dropping in between the lines and with Algeria playing deep, Germanys high line made sense. Except, the players didnt orchestrate the game-plan properly. The full-backs are supposed to drop deep to cover any attackers in behind but their positioning was poor. In front, the midfield of Germany did little to press Algeria into a mistake and far too often balls were easily played over the top, forcing Per Mertesacker and Jerome Boateng to regularly turn and face their own goal, an area many centre-backs are not comfortable with. Thankfully, they had Manuel Neuer in behind and he made an incredible amount of clearances outside of his box. Stats powered by Opta Germanys problems continued in possession. They head into the quarter-finals with too many of their key players either not fit or not playing well. This is a team that became obsessed with Spain after losing to them twice at Euro 2008 and at the last World Cup but at the moment they have a balance issue with their front six. Bastian Schweinsteiger, so crucial to their hopes, limped off in extra time and will desperately be needed in the quarter-final. Philipp Lahm is a fine midfielder but his value is much higher as a full-back. Forced into that change when Shkodran Mustafi was stretchered off, Lahm at full-back gives Germany an outlet his teammates trust in a wide area. It also unleashes Sami Khedira into midfield, a player, himself, who is not fully fit but who brings something completely different to the midfield with his penetration. Think Sergio Busquets and Xabi Alonso from 2010 - that is what Khedira and Schweinsteiger can be. A pair with great strength who can dictate the tempo and direction of a match. Germanys Xavi, Toni Kroos, is a fine player who can dictate the pace and tempo but demands calculated and intelligent movement in front of him. He is not a true playmaker who will beat two or three men and score an individual goal. This puts tremendous pressure on the front three. Again, thinking of Spain, these three are essential for success. Mario Gotze and Mesut Ozil are not natural wide players. They like to operate centrally in spaces between the lines but that makes Germany easy to defend against. Germany needed width, much like Spain did in 2010, and on came their Pedro, Andre Schurrle for Gotze. Ozil, however, was no Andres Iniesta. He is a defensive liability when an opponent is not in possession of the ball and when in possession he is not at his best on the left flank. Ozil likes to make quick movements, quick passes to feet, and out wide that requires full-backs to get forward, something this German team does very little of. Thomas Muller, one of the bright spots for Germany against Algeria, is a vital player for Lows system. However, the jurry is still out on what his best position is.dddddddddddd. Germany started with a false nine in this tournament, then went to Muller as the target man, but it was clear how valuable he is on the Schurrle goal, as his direct running into space and creativity set up the Chelsea man for a moment of brilliance on the goal. Their next opponents, France, may just be exactly what they need. France are a talented team but they have not been tested enough when forced to defend a lot, they tend to play slowly in possession and Germany should control possession and could do what Spain did to France two years ago at Euro 2012. That is easier said than done, however, and Germany will need to be far better to stay in Brazil. What they do have, though, is a cast of characters who are genuine world class stars. If any team can turn this around quickly it is this one. France 2-0 Nigeria There is a very thin line between success and failure at World Cups. The line is different for every team. Frances victory over Nigeria saw them jump over that line. Whatever happens from now on, this World Cup has become a success for a French team some thought wouldnt qualify after their loss in Ukraine last October. Against Nigeria they were far from perfect but their maturity came through. Under Didier Deschamps there is no room for complacency and France were a united front. For the second successive day, a European team grew stronger as the game wore on and a key tactical switch made the difference. Deschamps chose to play Karim Benzema with Olivier Giroud but Nigeria exploited this, creating overlaps out wide on the left where the Real Madrid man operated. This forced Blaise Matuidi to cover and help Patrice Evra, opening up spaces in midfield. During the second half Antoine Griezmann was introduced for Giroud and the balance of the side was much better. Benzema was not at his best but, importantly, France were able to pull through in a game where he didnt carry them. The goal came from a set-piece and the Nigerian goalie, Vincent Enyeama, who had been excellent, made one error in judgment and allowed Paul Pogba to nod home the winning goal into an empty net. Laurent Koscienly, a menace to defend at set plays throughout, played a huge part by attracting two defenders that the goalkeeper didnt trust to deal with the Arsenal man. It was a fitting goal for Pogba, who was the best player on the pitch. In all, many French players who have excelled at the highest level, the Champions League, performed very well like Mathieu Valbuena, Laurent Koscielny, Raphael Varane and Pogba. Nigeria go home with their heads held high with many of their players having had an excellent World Cup. Man of the Day Nominees Ahmed Musa – The Nigerian attacker has had a fantastic World Cup and his speed on the counter caused France a number of problems. Paul Pogba – The Juventus man had easily his best performance at the World Cup so far and scored the crucial goal. Andre Schurrle – Once again another substitute at this World Cup made a big impact on the game. Manuel Neuer – The German goalkeeper was sensational, often playing as an 11th outfield player, sweeping up behind his defence. Essaid Belkalem – The Algerian defence was brilliant, led by the 25-year-old Watford defender. The winner... Manuel Neuer – Arguably one of the best goalkeepers in the world today had a monumental match when his country needed him the most. What comes next? Argentina vs Switzerland (12pm et/9am pt) and Belgium vs USA (4pm/1pm) Burning question for Tuesday Will Belgium start a game better than they have done so far in this World Cup or will they once again start slowly and allow the USA confidence to build? Key stat of Day 19 With 10 games remaining, we have now had 150 goals at this World Cup. That is more than we had in 2006 and 2010. 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