DENVER -- Carlos Gonzalez angered Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson on Friday night by bunting for the Rockies' first hit in the fourth inning of a game the Angels won, 7-2.
Bunting to break up a no-hitter is dicey under baseball's unwritten rules, but Gonzalez said the bunt occurred fairly early, with two out in the fourth. The Rockies were down but could have climbed on top with a spark, and bunting for hits is a part of his game.
"He was throwing nasty pitches, so why would you take that away from me?" Gonzalez said, laughing off the fact Wilson criticized him after the game. "That's part of my game. I'm sure he was expecting something harder than that, but I did what I [could] to get on base and break that no-no.
"It was not even because of the no-hitter, but it was to get the team going. We were only down by two runs. Maybe in a different situation, I would try to swing the bat because I know how hard it is for pitchers to give up the first hit with a bunt. But I wanted to get my team going and he was dominating."
After the game, Wilson said, "I know he hasn't been swinging the bat well lately, but anytime a guy like him drops a bunt down, it's a little shocking. I was bummed about that, from a competitive standpoint. I guess he just wanted to get on base."
The Rockies have run into hot pitching during a four-game losing streak. But just before that, Gonzalez (.318, 14 HRs, 45 RBIs) had a torrid streak in which he homered in four straight plate appearances.
Also, it's not unusual for Gonzalez to do the tasks of a speed guy. The bunt hit was his second of the season -- the Phillies' Juan Pierre leads the National League with seven. Gonzalez had six bunt hits last season.
Gonzalez has three total infield hits and his eight steals include three of third base, an indication that he doesn't mind small ball when necessary.
If Wilson shot Gonzalez a dirty look after the bunt, Gonzalez said he didn't notice.
"I don't' really pay any attention to that stuff," Gonzalez said. "I know he's a tough pitcher, a guy who's going to battle. That's how I play, too. It's not like it's my first bunt all year."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.