Wilson pitched 5 1/3 innings and won his fourth consecutive decision as the Angels beat Cleveland 7-2 on Saturday night, sending the Indians to their sixth straight loss.
Asked to describe his outing, in which he allowed two runs despite giving up seven hits, walking four and hitting a batter, Wilson used the word "arduous."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia agreed with his pitcher.
"It was a tough night for C.J.," he said. "Grind is the right word, but he got some key outs with guys in scoring position. They had baserunners the whole night, it seemed. He had to work really hard."
Wilson (12-6) recorded his eighth win in his last 11 decisions. The left-hander hasn't lost since July 5.
Ubaldo Jimenez (8-7) allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings for the reeling Indians, who committed a season-high four errors and trail Detroit by eight games in the American League Central. Cleveland began its seven-game homestand three games out of first, but was swept in four games by the Tigers and has dropped the first two to the Angels, who came into town with a four-game losing streak.
"This is a game where how you handle frustration goes so far in how your season is defined, and we're going to find out," Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Mike Trout drew an eighth-inning walk and has reached base in 40 consecutive games.
The Angels didn't exactly knock the cover off the ball. Three of their runs scored on sacrifice flies, two others came on an RBI fielder's choice and another scored on a throwing error.
"In a game where we didn't really drive the ball, we did a really good job of situational hitting," Scioscia said. "Every chance we had to either get a runner over or score him, we pretty much did so."
The Angels, who scored five times in the first inning in Friday's win, saw that momentum carry over.
After Chris Iannetta drew a leadoff walk, Grant Green bunted to the left of the mound. Instead of letting third baseman Mike Aviles make the play, Jimenez fielded the ball and uncorked a wild heave that was several feet over the head of first baseman Nick Swisher. The ball landed on the track well beyond the bag and bounced into the stands, allowing the runners to take second and third.
Schuck's fly ball scored Iannetta and moved Green to third before Calhoun's fly made it 3-1.
Michael Bourn's RBI single in the sixth cut the lead to one, but the Indians' defense imploded in the eighth. Errors by shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and second baseman Jason Kipnis, and a wild pitch by Bryan Shaw helped the Angels score four times.
Trout was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts and had an RBI fielder's choice in the third.
Wilson dodged trouble often enough before finally being chased in the sixth. Singles by Yan Gomes and Drew Stubbs put runners at first and second with one out. Bourn's single scored Gomes, moved Stubbs to third and ended the night for Wilson, who threw 117 pitches.
"I felt I pitched pretty well," Wilson said. "It was a battle to get ahead of guys. There's no other way to characterize it."
Michael Kohn retired Swisher on a popup and Buddy Boshers, making his major league debut, struck out Kipnis.
Wilson is 3-1 with a 1.95 ERA in five outings against Cleveland since 2010. He's also held opponents to two homers over his last 12 outings.
Stubbs' infield hit scored a run for the Indians in the second.
Trout hit into a fielder's choice with the bases loaded in the third, tying the game. Iannetta reached base four times on a single and three walks.
Ernesto Frieri, who has been removed from the closer's role, pitched the ninth. He came into the game having allowed 12 earned runs over 4 2/3 innings in his last seven appearances.
Former Indians OF Rocky Colavito, one of the most popular players in franchise history, threw out the first pitch. "This is my town," said Colavito, who played for the Indians from 1955-59 and again in 1965-67. "I love Cleveland. It's my favorite town in the world." Colavito, who hit 374 career home runs, including four in one game in 1959, has a strong opinion of players who take performance-enhancing drugs. "They're cheaters. They cheat. It's an unfair advantage," he said. ... Boshers was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake after 2B Howie Kendrick went on the 15-day DL with a hyperextended left knee. ... Scioscia said LHP Jason Vargas (blood clot in armpit) will throw a bullpen session Sunday and start Tuesday in New York if all goes well. ... The series ends Sunday, when RHP Jerome Williams (5-8) starts for the Angels against RHP Justin Masterson (13-8).