In a game the Angels had to win, Hamilton had a big hand in beating them, all while still collecting most of his salary from the Angels.
Beltre, who has played the past few months with a sprained left thumb and index finger, hasn’t had a day off since coming off the disabled list on June 23. Odor fouled out to third baseman Freese.
Cubs 5, Reds 3: Austin Jackson hit a three-run homer, Anthony Rizzo added an RBI double and Chicago kept alive its slim hopes for home-field advantage in the wild-card game.
The Los Angeles Angels can quit worrying about defending their AL West championship.
SAN DIEGO – Yangervis Solarte hit a two-run homer, and Ian Kennedy snapped a personal four-game losing streak as San Diego defeated Milwaukee.
The Rangers (87-72), in the playoffs for the first time since 2012 after an AL-worst 95 losses last season, are a win or a Houston loss away from their first division title since winning two straight and going to the World Series in 2010-11.
Los Angeles cut the lead to one after scoring single runs in the sixth and seventh, but 2 2/3 innings of scoreless work from the bullpen and Josh Hamilton’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh provided a little cushion.
The guarantee of a postseason isn’t enough for the Rangers however, as they are aiming to clinch the whole title.
Otherwise, the Rangers were still waiting on a bigger celebration – for winning the AL West.
“We’ve been playing great”, said Angels outfielder, Mike Trout. We’re not done at all. “We still have a mission to accomplish”. The Astros are off Thursday before three games this weekend at Arizona. 500 and trailed Houston by eight games on August 1.
While getting the playoff-clinching win for big for the Rangers, getting left-hander Derek Holland back on track may have been just as important.
The Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers play game two Friday night. His streak of double-digit strikeout games ended at four.
Sunday – Game 162 – has the Angels starting pitcher written in as rookie, Nick Tropeano.
Texas Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo of South Korea points to Adrian Beltre… Shane Victorino hit a sacrifice fly hard to left field and Josh Hamilton made an fantastic grab to prevent any further damage. He has 47 RBIs in his last 45 games.
“We knew it was going to be a chance”, said shortstop Elvis Andrus, who had a couple of tough plays among five straight balls late to help preserve the lead. “We’ve got one more game to get the division and that’s the goal we’ve been working for all year”. You go in tomorrow and try to win the game. Beltre had a two-out double off the left-center wall and scored on Prince Fielder’s bloop single before Napoli hit a blast to the wall behind the lower deck of seats in left field. But ask any player in the Rangers’ clubhouse about who leads this team and they all point to Beltre.
“It hurt, but it’s fine”, Hamilton said.