First-year manager Jeff Banister stood in a corner of the Texas Rangers clubhouse watching players celebrate, with champagne spraying all over the place. If the Astros plan on making noise in the playoffs in tight, nerve-racking games, they will need the bullpen to perform like it did most of the season. The Angels won 2-1.
Elvis Andrus remained on the ground with his face in the dirt after sliding past second base and being tagged for the final out.
First of all, the Rangers are going to have to care about at least the first two games.
Texas Rangers Shin-Soo Choo of South Korea swings for a solo home… Beltre’s two-run homer in the fifth gave Texas a 3-2 lead.
“We’ve been playing great”, said Angels outfielder, Mike Trout. It’s about competing. These guys, they’ve never taken that approach. The Rangers won their other division titles in 2010 and 2011 and both times went to the World Series.
The victor of the Wild Card will likely play the Yankees in New York in a one-game Wild Card playoff for the right to advance to the Divisional Series against the Blue Jays or Royals. The Twins lost at home to AL Central champion Kansas City, dropping a game behind the Angels.
“We’re anxious about our house”.
“We obviously knew coming in we needed to win every game”, said Heaney, who walked a career-high five and has just one win since July 26. If the Yankees beat the Orioles, then the Astros would play the Yankees in New York in the wild card game on Tuesday.
Texas left no doubt in its 162nd game with a six-run seventh inning that included an infield RBI single by Beltre, who has driven in 33 runs his last 23 games, and a two-run double from Andrus.
“Anytime Mike’s swinging the bat for us it’s important”, Sciosia said. “From what happened yesterday, we got punched in the mouth”.
Texas plays its first AL division series game since 2011 on Thursday at Toronto. Fielder walked to push across a run to make it 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.
Houston had to hang on for dear life after it lost 14 of its first 21 September games. Cron’s hit for a 1-0 lead off Rangers left-hander Martin Perez.
The Angels were 2 for 2 on replay challenges, with safe calls overturned to outs in the first two innings. Delino DeShields then bunted and David Freese couldn’t get a handle on the ball to make a play. Did you think it could be anybody else that would come up with perhaps the biggest hit of the season?
Angels: Scioscia said right-handed reliever Huston Street, a week after a groin injury, was starting to “activate his arm” this weekend but clearly wouldn’t be available to pitch. For me, there were days when I found myself following a Midland RockHounds playoff game only to look up and realize I’d missed half the A’s game and Oakland was trailing 7-1.