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Anaheim at Texas

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L.A. Angels «100301110790
Texas004000000484

Angels nab home field in first round; Rangers' Young wins batting title

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Los Angeles Angels quickly zipped up their suitcases and emptied out their lockers.

They were going home -- eager and happy to be doing so.

The AL West champions clinched home field-advantage for the first round the AL playoffs, closing out the regular season by beating Texas 7-4 Sunday behind Juan Rivera's three-run homer.

The Angels will face the New York Yankees in the best-of-5 series, beginning with Game 1 Tuesday at Anaheim. The Yankees could've earned the home field if they'd beaten Boston, but lost 10-1 about an hour after the Angels' game ended.

"I think we accomplished what we wanted to by getting guys rested and getting home field," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Everything had to fall in place perfectly, and it looks like it did."

The Yankees and Angels both finished the regular season 95-67, but the tiebreaker went to the Angels because they won six of 10 against the Yankees this season.

The Angels begin the playoffs having won 14 of their last 16 overall. Scioscia said he wouldn't reveal his starting rotation until Monday.

Angels starter Ervin Santana (12-8) lasted six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits. He also struck out six.

Francisco Rodriguez got his 45th save in 50 chances, tying him with Bob Wickman for the most saves in the league this season.

The Rangers wrapped up their fifth losing season in six years, but one bright spot Sunday was shortstop Michael Young securing the AL batting title. He did so with a single in the first inning, then left the game to a standing ovation and fireworks after he walked in the third.

Young finished the season batting .331, edging out New York's Alex Rodriguez.

"It hasn't really hit me yet," said Young, who had a 25-game hitting streak end Thursday. "But I know it's something I can carry with me the rest of my life."

Despite the title, Young said he was disappointed for his team, which ended the years losers of four straight.

"I'd trade the batting title for a championship in a heartbeat," he said.

Rangers rookie Kameron Loe (9-6), hoping for a spot in the rotation next season, allowed three earned runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.

The Angels also had home-field advantage in the first-round last year but were ousted by the Red Sox. In 2002, they didn't have home-field advantage in the first round and won the World Series.

"We really don't care," Angels first baseman Darin Erstad said. "We got our foot in the door, and that's all you ask for. Whatever happens, happens."

The Rangers had built a 4-1 lead in the third after Gary Matthews Jr.'s triple scored Adrian Gonzalez and Jason Botts. Mark Teixeira and Hank Blalock added run-scoring singles in the inning.

But Rivera's homer, his 15th, scored Vladimir Guerrero and Casey Kotchman to tie it at 4 in the fourth.

"In spring training, our goal was to get to the postseason, and we said anything less than that would be a disappointment," Young said. "And that's not going to change now. We know that with all the talent we have in our clubhouse, we hate to waste it by not playing in the postseason."

Guerrero later doubled in the seventh, extending his hitting streak against the Rangers to 36 games. The Angels slugger has hit safely in every game against Texas in his career.

The Angels tacked on another run in the seventh when Rivera grounded into a double play with the bases loaded, scoring Garret Anderson. Orlando Cabrera's sacrifice bunt in the eight scored Chone Figgins to extend the lead to three.

Notes

  • Young became the first Rangers slugger to win a batting title since Julio Franco in 1991. He hit safely in 36 of the last 39 games.
  • Figgins stole his major league-leading 62nd base.
  • Scioscia said his lineup will most likely remain "the way we've been doing it."
  • The Rangers didn't homer Sunday but finished the season with 260, four shy of the major-league record set by Seattle in 1997.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Juan Rivera's heaven-sent homer in the fourth ties the score at 4, and the Angels cruise from there.  (AP)
Juan Rivera's heaven-sent homer in the fourth ties the score at 4, and the Angels cruise from there. (AP)

Players of the Game
Anaheim

J. Rivera
AB 5
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Anaheim

E. Santana
IP 6.0
H 7
ER 4
BB 1
K 6
 
Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, 2B-CF3210200 .290
Orlando Cabrera, SS4001004 .257
Garret Anderson, DH5121000 .283
Vladimir Guerrero, RF3110101 .317
    Zach Sorensen, PR-2B1000000 .167
Casey Kotchman, 1B4120100 .278
Juan Rivera, LF5113012 .271
Jeff DaVanon, CF-RF3110110 .231
Jose Molina, C4011002 .228
Maicer Izturis, 3B2000200 .246
Totals34796729 
Batting
2B - Vladimir Guerrero (29, Benoit), Jeff DaVanon (10, Loe)
HR - Juan Rivera (15, Loe)
SH - Orlando Cabrera (4)
RBI - Orlando Cabrera (57), Garret Anderson (96), Juan Rivera 3 (59), Jose Molina (25)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Molina (9)
SB - Chone Figgins 2 (62, 2nd base off Loe/Barajas, 3rd base off Rupe/Laird)
CS - Maicer Izturis (3, 2nd base by Rupe/Laird)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Cabrera-Figgins-Kotchman
Los Angeles Angels
Ervin Santana (W,12-8) 6744160 4.65
Brendan Donnelly (H,16) 1100020 3.72
Scot Shields (H,33) 1000020 2.75
Francisco Rodriguez (S,45) 1000020 2.67
Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 103-64, Brendan Donnelly 17-11, Scot Shields 12-9, Francisco Rodriguez 7-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 5-6, Scot Shields 1-0, Francisco Rodriguez 1-0
Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 25, Brendan Donnelly 4, Scot Shields 3, Francisco Rodriguez 3
Texas Rangers
David Dellucci, DH4000013 .251
Michael Young, SS1010100 .331
    Marshall McDougall, PR-3B2100011 .167
Mark Teixeira, 1B2021000 .301
    Adrian Gonzalez, PR-1B2100010 .227
Hank Blalock, 3B2011001 .263
    Jason Botts, PR-LF2100020 .296
Gary Matthews Jr., CF4012000 .255
Kevin Mench, LF-RF4000011 .264
Rod Barajas, C3000010 .254
    Gerald Laird, C1000010 .225
Mark DeRosa, RF-SS4010030 .243
Esteban German, 2B3120011 .750
Totals344841127 
Batting
3B - Gary Matthews Jr. (5, Santana)
RBI - Mark Teixeira (144), Hank Blalock (92), Gary Matthews Jr. 2 (55)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Teixeira (68), Hank Blalock (32), Gary Matthews Jr. 2 (22)
SB - Esteban German (2, 2nd base off Santana/Molina)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - DeRosa-German-Gonzalez, DeRosa-German-Gonzalez
E - Esteban German (1, Wild throw), Gerald Laird (3, Wild throw), Kameron Loe (4, Wild throw), Mark Teixeira (3, Misplayed grounder)
Texas Rangers
Kameron Loe (L,9-6) 5.2753321 3.42
Joaquin Benoit 1.1211200 3.72
Josh Rupe 1010200 2.79
Francisco Cordero 1000000 3.39
Pitches-Strikes - Kameron Loe 97-64, Joaquin Benoit 20-9, Josh Rupe 19-8, Francisco Cordero 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kameron Loe 12-4, Joaquin Benoit 1-2, Josh Rupe 2-0, Francisco Cordero 2-1
Batters Faced - Kameron Loe 28, Joaquin Benoit 7, Josh Rupe 4, Francisco Cordero 3
Game Information
Attendance - 38334
Game Time - 2:34
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Mike DiMuro, First Base - Joe West, Second Base - Mark Carlson, Third Base - Brian Gorman