He still hadn't beaten his former club until he got a little help from his surging teammates Friday night.
Mark Trumbo hit a three-run homer and Wilson pitched into the seventh inning of the Angels' 6-5 victory, knocking the Rangers out of first place in the AL West.
Wilson (15-6) allowed seven hits and four runs, persevering through a few jams while improving to 7-0 in his past 11 starts. He wasn't always sharp -- walking three and giving up homers to two hitters not known for power -- but was still good enough to get a win over Texas for the first time.
"It's not one of my best games, but I got favorable run support today," said Wilson, who has won seven straight decisions to match the longest winning streak of his career.
The left-hander was 0-2 with an 8.63 ERA in his first six starts against Texas since signing a five-year, $77.5 million deal with his hometown Angels in December 2011.
Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun had RBI singles during a five-run fourth inning for the Angels, who have won 11 of 14 late in their lost season. Trumbo capped the rally with his 30th homer, a no-doubt shot onto the fake rock pile in left-center.
"Any time a team has beaten you up a little bit, that feeling can linger," Trumbo said of the Rangers. "It feels good to get one back."
Trout had three hits as Los Angeles rallied from an early three-run deficit to snap Texas' seven-game winning streak in the division rivalry, beating the Rangers for just the third time in 13 meetings this season.
Alex Rios and Elvis Andrus homered for the Rangers, who began the day with a half-game lead over Oakland atop the AL West. Texas' loss and the Athletics' 7-5 win over Houston pushed Oakland back in front in the division race.
Andrus added a ninth-inning RBI single in his return from a four-game absence with tightness in his back.
Ernesto Frieri allowed Leonys Martin's two-out double in the ninth before Andrus' single to left, the first run allowed by the closer in 11 games since Aug. 10. Frieri then struck out Ian Kinsler on a 95 mph fastball for his 31st save.
Matt Garza (3-3) gave up nine hits and five runs over seven innings in his third straight winless start, largely staying in control with the exception of the Angels' big fourth inning. The Angels' first seven batters reached base in the fourth, with Trout and Calhoun driving in runs before Trumbo's shot.
"It's really frustrating," Garza said. "You try to keep those innings small and get the ground balls to get out of it. I got the ground ball a little too late. They put together a couple of hits, then I left a slider over the middle, and Trumbo did what he does to sliders over the middle. You just try to keep going and keep pitching."
Rios hit his 15th homer of the season in the second inning, and he added an RBI single in the third. Rios has been a solid replacement in right field for Nelson Cruz, who began serving his 50-game suspension during the Rangers' previous trip to Angel Stadium last month, apologizing to his teammates in the Anaheim clubhouse.
A.J. Pierzynski also drove in a run while four straight Rangers reached base in the third, but Wilson got out of the jam with an inning-ending double play.
Trumbo is the first Angels hitter with consecutive 30-homer seasons since Vladimir Guerrero did it three times from 2004 to '06, and he's just the sixth hitter in the club's 53-year history to accomplish the feat. He has been bumped down in the Angels' lineup during a late-season slump, including a 7-for-46 skid in the previous 13 games.
Los Angeles added another run in the fifth when Erick Aybar doubled and scored on a bad throw by Kinsler, who couldn't throw out the speedy Trout on an innocuous grounder to second.
Wilson escaped a jam in the sixth when Jeff Baker grounded into his second double play of the night with two runners on and nobody out. But Andrus put his first homer since Aug. 10 into the short left-field stands in the seventh, chasing Wilson after 116 pitches.
Josh Hamilton went 1-for-4 and scored a run in the Angels slugger's latest meeting with his former team.
The Halos won at the Big A for just the fourth time in 15 games. ... Texas had matched its longest winning streak in the rivalry, also winning seven straight over the Angels in 1987-88. ... The Angels' other five batters with consecutive 30-homer seasons: Guerrero, Troy Glaus (2000-02), Mo Vaughn (1999-2000), Tim Salmon (1995-97) and Don Baylor (1978-79). ... Texas 1B Mitch Moreland grounded out as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning on his 28th birthday.