Angels prevent Rangers from clinching division in pitcher’s duel
By Josh McSwain
After topping the Angels last night and securing their first playoff berth since 2012, the Rangers had a chance to clinch the AL west with a win this evening over their division rivals and deal a big blow to their playoff hopes in the process. But it did not come together tonight as Jered Weaver pitched six innings allowing just two hits and one run on a solo shot by Shin-Soo Choo. Martin Perez wasn’t too shabby either as he threw a four hit, seven inning gem and allowed just one run himself. Neither got a decision in this game. It came down to the ninth, and Mike Trout scored the winning run on an RBI single by Albert Pujols to give the Angels the 2-1 win. Mike Morin picked up the win to go to 4-2 while Shawn Tolleson took the loss to drop to 6-4 and Joe Smith picked up the save, his fourth of the year.
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The Angels got on the board in the top of the first as C.J. Cron, who has teed off against the Rangers this season, hit an RBI single to right center to bring in Erick Aybar. Both teams remained off the board until Choo launched his dinger to left center field to tie it at 1-1. In the top of the ninth Pujols waited and got a ball in on his hands that he drove the other way off Tolleson for the winning run.
The Rangers have two more games against the Angels in which they can clinch the AL west. If not, they would need Houston to drop one of their three games in Arizona to win the division. Tomorrow Colby Lewis is scheduled to take the mound against Hector Santiago, and on Sunday Cole Hamels is listed as the starter in the regular season finale against Nick Tropeano. First pitch tomorrow will be at 12:05 PM CT, so make some time for the Rangers tomorrow even among a full slate of college football tomorrow.