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Sports Angels still can avoid last in AL West, beat Rangers 5-4

Angels still can avoid last in AL West, beat Rangers 5-4

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — This time, the Los Angeles Angels didn’t have to watch the Rangers celebrate clinching the AL West title — like they had to do in Texas after the final regular-season game last year.

While far from the playoff chase this season, the Angels still have 10 games left to try to avoid finishing last in the division for the first time since 1999, the year before Mike Scioscia became their manager.

Mike Trout hit his 28th homer and Jered Weaver went six innings for his 150th career victory in an Angels uniform in a 5-4 win over the AL-leading Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.

“We’re still fighting. … We’re not going to give up. We’re just going to try to get some positives out of the end of the year and go from there,” Trout said. “It’s not fun when you’re not playing for a playoff spot. The other teams that you’re playing, they are. If you go out there and play to win, you can have a little part in if they make it.”

The Angels have won six AL West titles under Scioscia, the last just two years ago.

Trout’s three-run drive off Derek Holland (7-9) in the fifth put the Angels up 5-1.

The magic number for Texas (90-63) to win its second consecutive AL West title remained at two after the loss and second-place Houston’s 6-5 win earlier at Oakland.

At 66-86, the Angels and A’s are tied at the bottom of the five-team division. They have three games left against each other, next week in Los Angeles

“We don’t try to look at our record. We’re just trying to win ballgames and win series,” Trout said. “We’ve got three series left, and we’re going to try to win all of them.”

For the Rangers, who have nine games left, any chance of ending their homestand with a clinching game against the Angels earlier Wednesday with the win by Houston, which now goes home for a four-game series against the Angels.

“Destiny is in our hands,” shortstop Elvis Andrus said. “Believe me, no matter if we clinch here, or anywhere, as long as you’re in that, that’s been our main goal. That’s our first goal.”

Weaver (12-12), who struck out six and allowed four runs, joined Chuck Finley (165) as the only pitchers to win 150 games for the Angels.

A California native who has spent all 11 of his MLB seasons with the Angels, Weaver is 150-93 in 321 career starts. The right-hander 18-8 in 40 career starts against the Rangers, his most wins against any opponent.

“(Weaver) has been incredible for a long time. It’s great to see him reach some milestones,” Scioscia said. “He’s part of the heart and soul of what we’ve done. I’m glad he’s throwing the ball well.”

Andrew Bailey worked the ninth, allowing a two-run double to Andrus before hitting Jurickson Profar with a pitch. He earned his fourth save in four chances since his Angels debut Sept. 2.

Rookie outfielder Nomar Mazara had three hits for Texas, including two RBI singles. After his run-scoring hit in the fifth, he scored on Carlos Beltran’s homer that got the Rangers within 5-4.

Beltran hit his 28th homer overall, and sixth since getting traded from the New York Yankees on Aug. 1.


Andrelton Simmons had a leadoff single in the Angels’ second, and scored on Gregorio Petit’s two-out single. Albert Pujols drove home a run, his 114th RBI, with a single in the third for a 2-0 lead. … The Rangers won the season series against the Angels 10-9. … Texas is still an MLB-best 36-11 in one-run games. The Rangers won the first two games in the series by one run, both comeback victories that pushed their majors-leading total to 47.


Angels: Travel about 250 miles south to start their final road series of a season in Houston, with the first of four games on Thursday night.

Rangers: A day off before opening a three-game series Friday in Oakland.

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