|L.A. Angels (95-59) «||0||0||2||0||0||1||2||0||2||7||9||1|
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Los Angeles has nearly reached all the goals it set out for in the regular season.
"This could be the year that we win the championship," said Rodriguez, who burst on the scene when the Angels won the World Series title in 2002. "We have tremendous chemistry here. We're peaking in every department."
The Angels (95-59) assured themselves of at homefield advantage in at least the first round of the playoffs with the win.
Los Angeles, which also has the best record in baseball, has a 2½ game lead over AL East leader Tampa Bay in the race for the league's best mark and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Angels have a 20½ game lead over the second-place Rangers, who have lost three in a row. Los Angeles can become the first AL team since Cleveland in 1999 to win a division by 20 games over their closest pursuer.
"It certainly has importance," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said of gaining homefield. "We have an opportunity to accomplish everything in the regular season that can be accomplished and that's important to us."
Rodriguez entered the game with two out and two on in the ninth to extend his MLB save record, which he set last Saturday against Seattle.
Rodriguez has 18 more saves than Houston's Jose Valverde, who leads the National League.
"I feel so happy and so proud the way things have been going," Rodriguez said. "Saving 60 games is good, but I've got to keep going."
Anderson, who homered in the third, had an RBI single in the seventh when the American League West champs scored twice to take lead for good.
Justin Speier (2-8) struck out four in 1 2/3 innings of relief and got out of a key jam in the sixth to keep the game tied at 3.
Sean Rodriguez singled leading off the seventh and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Texas starter Vicente Padilla (13-8). After Erick Aybar singled, Rodriguez scored on an another wild pitch to put Los Angeles ahead. Anderson, who was 3-for-4, singled to right to score Aybar.
The Angels added two runs in the ninth for the 7-3 lead.
Padilla yielded five runs and seven hits in six innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked three.
The Rangers, who have the worst ERA in baseball, are now 12-28 against the four teams who right now occupy the four playoff spots. Texas is 5-10 against the Angels.
Texas outfielder Marlon Byrd said it is obvious what the difference between the Rangers and Angels is.
"Pitching," Byrd said. "We can out hit them all day long."
Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero returned to the lineup for the first time since leaving a game on Sept. 12 with right knee irritation. Guerrero, who jogged off the field when removed from the game, led off the sixth with a double and was removed for pinch-runner Kendry Morales.
"We wanted to work him back in the lineup," Scioscia said. "He'll play five innings (Sunday) and most likely DH."
Anderson hit a two-run homer, his 15th, that gave the Angels a 2-0 lead in the third.
|For the 60th time this season, Francisco Rodriguez closes out an Angels' victory. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Erick Aybar, SS||4||3||2||0||0||0||0||.283|
|Garret Anderson, DH||4||2||3||3||1||0||0||.296|
|Mark Teixeira, 1B||4||0||0||0||1||1||4||.304|
|Vladimir Guerrero, RF||2||0||1||0||1||1||0||.299|
|Kendry Morales, PR-RF||2||1||1||1||0||0||1||.271|
|Reggie Willits, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.172|
|Torii Hunter, CF||3||0||0||0||2||2||3||.282|
|Gary Matthews Jr., LF-RF||4||0||0||1||1||0||3||.239|
|Brandon Wood, 3B||5||0||2||1||0||0||3||.207|
|Jeff Mathis, C||5||0||0||0||0||1||5||.188|
|Sean Rodriguez, 2B||3||1||0||0||1||2||0||.190|
|2B - Erick Aybar (16, Rupe), Vladimir Guerrero (30, Padilla), Kendry Morales (2, White)|
|HR - Garret Anderson (15, Padilla)|
|RBI - Garret Anderson 3 (83), Kendry Morales (6), Gary Matthews Jr. (42), Brandon Wood (13)|
|2-OUT RBI - Brandon Wood (5)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|E - Jeff Mathis (13, Throwing)|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Justin Speier (W,2-8)||1.2||1||0||0||2||4||0||5.18|
|Kevin Jepsen (H,3)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.69|
|Scot Shields (H,30)||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||2.83|
|Francisco Rodriguez (S,60)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2.34|
|IBB - Blalock by Justin Speier|
|HBP - Laird (by Dustin Moseley)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Dustin Moseley 72-48, Justin Speier 28-17, Kevin Jepsen 2-1, Scot Shields 19-12, Jason Bulger 15-8, Francisco Rodriguez 4-2|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dustin Moseley 11-1, Justin Speier 1-0, Scot Shields 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Dustin Moseley 25, Justin Speier 8, Kevin Jepsen 1, Scot Shields 4, Jason Bulger 4, Francisco Rodriguez 1|
|Joaquin Arias, 2B||3||0||0||1||0||0||2||.274|
|a- Ramon Vazquez, PH-2B||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.295|
|Travis Metcalf, SS||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.229|
|German Duran, SS-2B||5||0||1||0||0||1||1||.224|
|Josh Hamilton, CF||3||0||1||0||2||2||0||.308|
|Milton Bradley, DH||5||0||0||0||0||1||4||.316|
|Marlon Byrd, LF||5||1||2||0||0||1||1||.299|
|Hank Blalock, 1B||4||1||4||1||1||0||0||.271|
|Nelson Cruz, RF||4||0||0||0||1||0||7||.329|
|Gerald Laird, C||2||1||1||0||0||0||0||.282|
|Chris Davis, 3B||4||0||1||1||0||3||3||.280|
|a-struck out for Arias in the 6th|
|2B - Marlon Byrd 2 (27, Moseley, Speier), Hank Blalock 2 (15, Moseley, Moseley), Gerald Laird (24, Moseley)|
|SH - Gerald Laird (4)|
|RBI - Joaquin Arias (6), Hank Blalock (26), Chris Davis (53)|
|2-OUT RBI - Chris Davis (26)|
|Team LOB - 13|
|PB - Gerald Laird (6)|
|E - Vicente Padilla (3, Missed catch of throw)|
|Vicente Padilla (L,13-8)||6||7||5||5||3||5||1||4.85|
|IBB - Hunter by Josh Rupe, by G. Anderson, Hunter by Bill White|
|HBP - Aybar (by Vicente Padilla)|
|WP - Vicente Padilla 2 (12)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Vicente Padilla 106-71, Josh Rupe 25-17, Bill White 18-7, Luis Mendoza 6-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Vicente Padilla 10-3, Josh Rupe 4-0|
|Batters Faced - Vicente Padilla 29, Josh Rupe 9, Bill White 4, Luis Mendoza 2|
|Attendance - 38973|
|Game Time - 3:15|
|Temperature - 81|
|Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - Brian O'Nora, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Jerry Crawford|