C.J. Wilson with his best effort of 2011

ARLINGTON, Texas -- C.J. Wilson will downplay his efforts at times, but the Rangers ace set the tone of this three-game series with the Angels on Monday night with a splendid performance.

"I felt a little bit more myself," Wilson said of his outing in the Rangers' 7-1 victory. "I still don't feel like I'm all the way back to where I want to be yet considering the last couple of starts I've had, and they were below average for me. To go out there and throw that many pitches and keep the scoring down and keep the pace up, it was a fast-paced game for me in the sense I tried to go out and have quick innings, and that helped out a lot."

Wilson moved to 2-0 on the season as he struck out a season-high nine and allowed just one run on nine hits in seven innings of work. Wilson made sure he threw inside on the Angels' hitters and mixed up his pitches by throwing some off-speed stuff.

The first inning set the tone for Wilson when after a one-out walk to Bobby Abreu, he retired Torii Hunter on a 6-4-3 double play. It was just the start for Wilson, who is 3-1 with 3.25 ERA in his last six starts against the Angels.

"The walk to Abreu was kinda like, it was almost comical for me because he's got great plate discipline," said Wilson, who threw 116 pitches. "But it was the first taste that I had [with] the wind blowing into me so the ball was maybe darting a little bit at the last second. Maybe I wasn't seeing where I needed to hit my spots. I didn't feel like I was totally as sharp as I should have been. I was just ahead of the count often enough."