|L.A. Angels (92-65)||0||0||0||0||5||0||0||2||0||7||7||0|
|Texas (73-84) «||1||0||3||0||2||1||1||0||x||8||12||0|
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The celebration is over for the AL West champion Los Angeles Angels. They are in another race before the playoffs now, and have already missed a big chance.
One day after spraying champagne at home for clinching their third division title in four seasons, the Angels quickly lost a lead and dropped an 8-7 game to the last-place Texas Rangers on Monday night.
The clubhouse setting was vastly different this time -- with no music playing and players scarce after the game.
While they already have the division title, the Angels (92-65) are still playing for the best record in the American League and home-field advantage through the playoffs. Their 92 victories remained the same as Boston and Cleveland, the other division leaders who were off Monday.
"Nobody's happy about losing a game anytime," manager Mike Scioscia said. "After you take the lead, or after a run, to keep the momentum, it's important for that pitcher to put up a zero. And we weren't able to do that."
After a sluggish first few innings against Armando Galarraga in his first major league start, the Angels finally broke through with a five-run outburst in the fifth -- only to see Texas regain the lead for good onMarlon Byrd's two-run homer in the bottom of the inning.
"It was great to get the lead right back," Byrd said.
Los Angeles didn't get a hit until Maicer Izturis singled in the fifth. The Angels then scored five runs within a span of six batters to chase Galarraga.
"I thought his stuff was good. Obviously, the results weren't what we had hoped for," Scioscia said.
"Some pitches weren't where I wanted and that's what eventually hurt me," Santana said. "I don't feel like it's a step back at all."
Santana had won two of his previous three starts, allowing only three earned runs over 18 1/3 innings. He also threw shutout innings in his first relief appearance for the Angels in that stretch. The right-hander will likely pitch out of the bullpen in the postseason.
Laird finished 3-for-5, lacking only a homer for the cycle, and the catcher also threw out both runners who tried to steal against him. Michael Young moved closer to another 200-hit season, going 2-for-4 with a homer and four RBI to get to 197 hits.
Young has five games left to reach 200 hits for the fifth straight season. The only other players to do that since 1940 were Wade Boggs and Ichiro Suzuki, who both did it seven straight years, including this season for Suzuki.
Galarraga struck out four and walked four pitching in the spot of Vicente Padilla, who served the fifth of his seven-game suspension for intentionally throwing at Oakland's Nick Swisher on Aug. 16. Galarraga, who came in the December 2005 trade that sent Alfonso Soriano to Washington, had made two relief appearances this month.
"In the fifth, they made him work," manager Ron Washington said. "For four innings, he had a no-hitter against a team that has a chance to go to the World Series."
After Juan Rivera walked to lead off the fifth, Izturis got his hit and Howie Kendrick followed with an RBI double. Chone Figgins hit a sacrifice fly before Orlando Cabrera had an run-scoring single and Casey Kotchman hit his 11th homer, a two-run shot for a 5-4 lead.
Rivera added a two-run double with two outs in the eighth.
"We still came back," Scioscia said. "Those last six outs, four were rockets. We had our chances to get it done."
Scioscia said before Monday's game that right-hander Kelvim Escobar wouldn't start as expected Tuesday night, giving the 17-game winner more time to rest his shoulder. Dustin Moseley (4-3) will start instead.
Escobar, first pushed back from his scheduled start Saturday because of inflammation in his shoulder, is expected to pitch over the weekend in Oakland.
Young's three-run homer, his ninth of the season, put Texas up 4-0. He drove in a run with a single after Laird doubled in the first.
|Marlon Byrd (22) is all smiles after going 1-for-4 with a go-ahead, two-run homer in the fifth inning. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Chone Figgins, RF||4||0||0||1||0||2||1||.341|
|Orlando Cabrera, SS||4||2||2||1||0||1||1||.305|
|Casey Kotchman, DH||2||2||1||2||2||0||0||.297|
|Kendry Morales, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.299|
|Gary Matthews Jr., CF||2||0||0||0||2||0||0||.254|
|Juan Rivera, LF||3||1||1||2||1||0||2||.226|
|Nathan Haynes, PR-LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.256|
|Maicer Izturis, 3B||3||1||1||0||1||0||1||.288|
|Howie Kendrick, 2B||4||1||2||1||0||1||2||.325|
|Mike Napoli, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||3||.246|
|a- Erick Aybar, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.233|
|a-flied out for Napoli in the 9th|
|2B - Juan Rivera (1, Wood), Howie Kendrick (24, Galarraga)|
|HR - Casey Kotchman (11, Galarraga)|
|SF - Chone Figgins (8)|
|RBI - Chone Figgins (58), Orlando Cabrera (86), Casey Kotchman 2 (68), Juan Rivera 2 (7), Howie Kendrick (39)|
|2-OUT RBI - Orlando Cabrera (33), Casey Kotchman 2 (19), Juan Rivera 2 (4)|
|SB - Gary Matthews Jr. (18, 3rd base off Galarraga/Laird), Maicer Izturis (7, 2nd base off Galarraga/Laird)|
|CS - Casey Kotchman (3, 2nd base by Galarraga/Laird), Howie Kendrick (4, 2nd base by Francisco/Laird)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|DP - Kendrick-Morales|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Ervin Santana (L,7-14)||5||8||6||6||2||4||2||5.80|
|WP - Jason Bulger (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 102-61, Chris Bootcheck 31-19, Jason Bulger 21-12, Rich Thompson 14-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 4-6, Jason Bulger 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 24, Chris Bootcheck 6, Jason Bulger 5, Rich Thompson 3|
|Ian Kinsler, 2B||4||1||1||0||1||2||0||.263|
|Gerald Laird, C||5||3||3||0||0||2||2||.223|
|Michael Young, SS||4||1||2||4||0||0||3||.313|
|Marlon Byrd, CF||4||1||1||2||0||1||1||.308|
|Hank Blalock, DH||2||1||2||0||2||0||0||.296|
|Jason Botts, LF||4||0||0||0||0||2||5||.228|
|David Murphy, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.356|
|Nelson Cruz, RF||4||0||1||1||0||1||1||.237|
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 1B||4||1||1||0||0||2||1||.266|
|Brad Wilkerson, 1B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.233|
|Travis Metcalf, 3B||3||0||1||1||1||0||0||.235|
|Freddy Guzman, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.000|
|Ramon Vazquez, 3B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.235|
|2B - Gerald Laird (17, Santana), Hank Blalock (16, Santana)|
|3B - Gerald Laird (3, Santana), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (1, Bootcheck)|
|HR - Michael Young (9, Santana), Marlon Byrd (10, Santana)|
|RBI - Michael Young 4 (90), Marlon Byrd 2 (68), Nelson Cruz (31), Travis Metcalf (17)|
|2-OUT RBI - Nelson Cruz (8)|
|CS - Freddy Guzman (1, 2nd base by Thompson/Napoli)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Laird-Young, Kinsler-Young-Saltalamacchia|
|Bill White (W,2-0)||1.1||0||0||0||1||0||0||6.14|
|Frank Francisco (H,19)||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||4.63|
|Mike Wood (H,3)||1||2||2||2||1||0||0||5.04|
|Wes Littleton (S,2)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||4.37|
|Pitches-Strikes - Armando Galarraga 86-47, Bill White 18-10, Frank Francisco 18-11, Mike Wood 21-11, Wes Littleton 13-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Armando Galarraga 4-5, Bill White 2-1, Mike Wood 2-1, Wes Littleton 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Armando Galarraga 21, Bill White 4, Frank Francisco 3, Mike Wood 6, Wes Littleton 3|
|Attendance - 22881|
|Game Time - 3:06|
|Temperature - 89|
|Umpires - Home - Jim Joyce, First Base - Jeff Nelson, Second Base - Jim Wolf, Third Base - Tim Tschida|