In need of a pick-me-up, Wilson snapped an ammonia inhalant stick in half and “took a hit of it to wake me up a bit,” Wilson said after pitching the Angels to a 1-0 victory over the
Ammonia? Wilson said the inhalants, commonly referred to as smelling salts, are not on baseball’s banned-substance list and that he began using them when, as a
"It's totally legal," said Wilson, who allowed two hits in seven innings, striking out eight and walking three to improve to 4-5 with a 3.60 earned-run average. "When I was a reliever, that was part of Eric Gagne's routine. He'd snap one of those ammonia sticks and he'd be like, "Whoa, baby!"
"He'd slam a Red Bull, then do [an ammonia stick] and he'd be amped to go out there. I have a little sinus thing. I needed something to unclog. I thought some ammonia would get me out of my stupor, and it did."
Wilson struck out the first two batters of the sixth, Billy Burns and Mark Canha. He then made a bare-hand grab of
Wilson got into a jam in the seventh when he walked
But first baseman Efren Navarro made a lunging, back-hand grab of
“He’s so smooth, he’s such a great fielder, I feel like he’s going to catch everything,” Wilson said of Navarro, who was filling in for
Pujols, who started at designated hitter, hit a solo home run to left field in the first, and relievers
Wilson rebounded from a rough five-start stretch in which he went 1-3 with a 6.00 ERA, but he didn't necessarily gain any extra satisfaction from getting through -- and winning -- a game in which he had no margin for error.
"It's draining," Wilson said. "The fun games are when you have a six-run lead and you cruise through it and they roll over everything and don't get a lot of hits. That's way more fun. This is not very fun. It's a lot of work. This is one of the harder games I've had to work through because I had to make so many pitches with the game on line.