OAKLAND -- A crowd of 20,288 booed lustily when Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson was introduced on Friday night. Wilson doesn't like the Oakland Coliseum, he made that clear on Wednesday and now he's Public Enemy No. 1 here in the East Bay.Nine innings later, he was called something else: winning pitcher. He hadn't been called that in a while. Two days after criticizing the Coliseum's pitching mound, Wilson thrived on it, leading the Rangers to a 9-1 victory over the Athletics. Texas, with its sixth win in eight games, retained a two-game lead over the Angels in the American League West. The Rangers are now 21-12 within their division this season. "The funny thing is the fans were very colorful in their comments they made," Wilson said. "It fired me up. It felt like a playoff game, having the whole stadium against you except the 15 people who were there with me." Wilson said he learned to survive and thrive in that kind of hostile environment. "I do, absolutely," Wilson said. "It makes me stronger, I turn it into focus. I used to do that in Yankee Stadium. They have 50,000 people who would stab you with a butter knife if they thought it would help their team win. We're the same in Texas. You have to be able to compete in that atmosphere. It's what the playoffs to compete in that atmosphere. It can either work for you or you can block it out. I like to let it fuel me." Wilson, leading 6-0 before pitching his second inning, went six frames and allowed one run on four hits while walking three and striking out seven. He had a two-hit shutout into the sixth before two-out doubles by Josh Willingham and Conor Jackson drove home a run. Wilson threw 114 pitches in raising his record to 11-5 with a 3.28 ERA. "C.J. did a great job tonight," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "The thing about C.J. is you know you're going to get the best he has every night. That team is playing well and swinging the bats well. We needed to come in here and play a good baseball game and we did." It was Wilson's first victory almost a month. He was 0-2 with a 4.84 ERA in his last four starts -- all losses for the Rangers -- since a 5-1 win over the Mariners on July 16. Until those four games, the Rangers had not lost two consecutive starts by Wilson all season. Last year, they lost consecutive starts by him only twice and never more than two in a row. "To go a month without winning a game ..." Wilson said. "I won a go-kart race the other day, that was the first thing I've won in a while. I was stoked about that." In addition to his vocal displeasure with the Coliseum, Wilson was critical about the lack of fan support in Oakland. The Athletics weren't happy about Wilson's comments, but that wasn't much help once the game began. "Obviously there was some scuttlebutt before the game," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. "You can't help but notice some of the quotes. I think each guy takes that a little differently. Some will let it motivate them, some play their game and go out there and prepare accordingly. "I would have liked to seen us put a few more runs on the board tonight, and early, but when they scored like they did, at times it can take the wind out of your sails. We typically do battle back. Tonight was the first night in a while we were just beaten and beaten badly. Only counts as one, one loss, but it certainly doesn't make you feel any better." Oakland starter Brandon McCarthy had a much rougher night and had to leave the game in the fourth inning when he took a line drive hit by Endy Chavez off his right leg. The ball was hit so hard that it caromed deep into foul territory behind first base, allowing Chavez to record a double. McCarthy, who walked off the field, was diagnosed with a contusion on his right knee. "It scared me," Chavez said. "I made good contact and it sounded pretty loud. The good thing is I'm not a power hitter. I'm not strong enough to hurt anybody." The Rangers jumped on McCarthy for six runs in the second inning. Michael Young opened the inning with a triple off the right-field wall, just beyond the glove of outfielder David DeJesus. The hit gave Young an 11-game hitting streak, and he scored on a single by Nelson Cruz. A's shortstop Cliff Pennington then bobbled Mike Napoli's hit-and-run grounder for an error, putting runners on first and second. Mitch Moreland and Yorvit Torrealba followed with run-scoring singles, Chavez doubled home another run and a one-out single by Elvis Andrus made it 5-0. Josh Hamilton then smacked a hard grounder that Pennington knocked down and could only get a force at second, allowing the final run of the inning to score. Torrealba's single gave him a 10-game hitting streak. "I told myself after that I was still pitching in a 1-0 game," Wilson said. "I didn't want the score to dictate my pitch selection. I wanted to keep putting up zeroes." Asked about the mound, Wilson said, "It was the same as always."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.