They’re now a full game back of the Astros for the last available Wild Card spot, while tied with the Twins and, perhaps, in need of three straight wins to extend their season.
Hamilton has played in 48 games this season, including Friday night’s start in left field, due to various physical issues. The postseason berth is the Rangers’ first since 2012, when it lost the inaugural American League Wild Card game to the Orioles.
Already assured a playoff spot, Texas could have also clinched the division Friday night with a win over the Angels.
The Angels, last year’s West champion, were eliminated from the division race, but are still eligible for a playoff spot.
In the race for the second wild card, Los Angeles (83-76) is a game behind the Astros and tied with Minnesota, which beat Cleveland 4-2.
Joe Smith worked a ideal ninth for his fourth save, including a strikeout of slugger Josh Hamilton, who was traded from Los Angeles back to Texas in April. Weaver is 15-8 with a 3.50 ERA in 36 career starts against the Rangers and received a no-decision on September 5 when he gave up one run and four hits in six innings. Pittsburgh can ensure the game is at PNC Park with a win in either of its two remaining games or one Cubs loss.
Derek Holland has struggled as of late, but he had a golden opportunity to make all the Rangers fans forget about that with an impressive outing tonight.
Angels ninth. Sh.Tolleson pitching.
Beltran hit his 19th home run in the second off Rich Hill (2-1), and Bird added a few breathing room by hitting his 11th with one out in the seventh off Jean Machi. “They asked me how I felt today and I told them I felt really good, and I did”. The New York Yankees (87-72) locked down the other wild card with their victory over Boston earlier on Thursday. He took a few steps back to the bag after Hamilton’s catch and made it home for a 1-0 Angels lead, but the Rangers almost threw him out.
The Detroit Tigers go into their final series looking for Miguel Cabrera to clinch his fourth American League batting title in five seasons.
The Rays said it was the first regular-season game ever between AL and NL teams during October.
Beltre caps big rally: Trailing, 1-0, in the fifth inning, the Rangers put together a string of tough at-bats against Heaney to score four runs. If the Rangers do win the division they will have a first round matchup against either the Kansas City Royals or the Toronto Blue Jays.
Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Arlington, Texas, Friday, October 2, 2015. After a sluggish start, Choo has been on fire of later, with four homers, two doubles and 10 RBI in his last 10 games.
It’s been an up and down return to the Texas Rangers from the Los Angeles Angels for Josh Hamilton in 2015. Valencia, who had three hits, followed with his career-high 17th homer deep into the left-center field bleachers.