ANAHEIM, Calif. » Whether he retains his rotation spot after a 5-3 interleague loss to the San Francisco Giants at Angel Stadium was probably the furthest thing from Angels starter Jerome Williams’ mind Monday night.
A team spokesman confirmed late in the game that Williams, who was tagged for four runs and seven hits in 3⅓ innings, was taken by ambulance to UCI Medical Center in Orange for precautionary reasons after experiencing shortness of breath. The Angels were awaiting word on his condition at game’s end.
The Giants, in their first trip to Anaheim since losing Games 6 and 7 of the 2002 World Series, banged out 13 hits, including three singles and two runs batted in from second baseman Ryan Theriot and a big two-run triple from shortstop Brandon Crawford in the second inning.
San Francisco right-hander Matt Cain was hardly perfect in his first start since throwing a perfect game against the Houston Astros on Wednesday night, but he lasted long enough to win his eighth straight decision, allowing three runs and six hits in five innings, striking out four and walking four.
Control problems also plagued Williams, who walked three while prolonging a slide in which he has given up 14 earned runs and 19 hits in 16⅔ innings in his past three starts.
His timing couldn’t be worse. With Jered Weaver coming off the disabled list to start Wednesday night against the Giants, the Angels will have to bump a starter from the rotation, and Williams, who prepped at Waipahu, is looking more like a candidate to be demoted to the bullpen.
Garrett Richards seemed like a target to be sent back to Triple-A, but the rookie is 2-0 with a 0.86 earned-run average in four games in place of the injured Weaver and threw eight shutout innings in Sunday’s win over Arizona.
Cain has no such job worries, entering Monday with a 7-0 record and 2.06 ERA in his previous eight starts and a string of 32 consecutive batters retired.
But any hope he had of matching Johnny Vander Meer’s major league record of two consecutive no-hitters was dashed three pitches into the first inning when Mike Trout singled to left.
Trout stole second, took third on Torii Hunter’s fly to center field and scored on Albert Pujols’ sacrifice fly for a 1-0 Angels lead.
A pair of Williams walks preceded Crawford’s two-run triple to right in the second, but the Angels countered in their half with Mark Trumbo’s leadoff homer to right-center, his 16th of the season, to tie the score 2-2.
Consecutive singles by Melky Cabrera, Buster Posey and Angel Pagan in the third put the Giants up 3-2, and Williams escaped further damage by getting Crawford to ground out with the bases loaded to end the inning.
But Williams, who came up to the big leagues with the Giants in 2003 and was released by them in 2005, couldn’t survive the fourth, as Joaquin Arias singled, stole second and scored on Theriot’s single to left. That gave the Giants a 4-2 lead and knocked Williams out.
The Angels loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth on Alberto Callaspo’s single, Maicer Izturis’ walk and Erick Aybar’s bunt single, but squeezed only one run out of the rally on Bobby Wilson’s sacrifice fly to left, which made it 4-3.
Izturis and Aybar advanced on Wilson’s out, but Cain knocked down Trout’s comebacker and threw to the plate to get Izturis, and after Hunter walked to load the bases, Pujols grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.