|L.A. Angels (88-71)||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||0||0||7||12||0|
|Texas (93-66) «||1||2||3||0||2||0||0||0||x||8||12||0|
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Closer Joe Nathan got the quick redemption he hoped for, and the two-time defending AL champion Texas Rangers are back in the playoffs.
They're still trying to win another division title.
Nathan ended a long day with his 37th save, after blowing a chance in the opener, and Mike Napoli homered twice while driving in six runs as the Rangers won 8-7 on Sunday night for a doubleheader split against the Los Angeles Angels.
"Any reliever would ask to get out there and try and put this afternoon's game behind them," Nathan said. "The team over there is playing great, pushed us right the limit again. We've still got some work to do."
|More on Angels-Rangers|
|More MLB coverage|
While overcoming an quick 4-0 deficit in the nightcap to assure themselves a playoff spot -- and postseason berths for Baltimore and New York Yankees, as well -- the Rangers (93-66) have to win at least once during their season-ending, three-game series at second-place Oakland for the AL West title.
"You would think there would be a letdown, but because these guys take each game for what it is, there is no letdown," manager Ron Washington said. "Yes, it was a tough loss the first one. ... Fell down 4-0, it was no big deal. They went out there and put some good at-bats together and they played with a lot of energy and Joe got a chance to redeem himself."
Los Angeles (88-71), which won the opener 5-4 on Torii Hunter's two-run double with two outs in the ninth off Nathan, trails the A's by three games for the AL's second wild card with three games left.
The Angels have to sweep their three-game series in Seattle and have Texas do the same against Oakland to force a tiebreaking 163rd game between the A's and Angels for the second wild card.
"These guys played their hearts out," manager Mike Scioscia said. "I don't know that you can ask much more than that."
After only his third blown save for Texas in the opener, Nathan worked through the heart of the Angels lineup in the nightcap.
Napoli's 23rd home run an inning later made it 6-4 and chased Santana, who has given up a majors-high 39 home runs. Napoli drove a two-run double into the left-center gap in the fifth to make it 8-4.
It was Napoli's 10th career multihomer game, four of them against his former team the past two seasons. Napoli played five years for the Angels before being traded twice in five days before the 2011 season, to Toronto and then Texas.
"Sometimes there's going to be that hitter you don't match up well against," Scioscia said.
Mike Trout, who in the opener became the first major-league rookie to reach 30 home runs and 40 stolen bases in the same season, struck out to start the second game against Holland.
Nathan took over after Koji Uehara struck out the side in the eighth. Uehara has retired all 23 batters faced his last nine games, with 15 strikeouts.
Holland managed to get into the seventh inning, and didn't allow any more runs until a three-run homer by Howie Kendrick, the last batter he faced. The left-hander, who made it only three innings his previous start, struck out five while allowing seven runs and 12 hits.
Hunter, who lives in nearby Prosper, had seven hits in the doubleheader. He is hitting .350 (98 of 280) since the All-Star break, and his game-winning double into the left-center gap came right after Nathan (3-5), his former teammate in Minnesota, struck out Trout.
The Angels are still trying to make up for two bad slumps. After adding slugger Pujols and left-hander C.J. Wilson this winter, they were 8-15 in April. They had a 4-13 slide to start August.
But they still have a chance to make the playoffs after winning 11 of their last 16 games, if they get a lot of help from the Rangers.
So what do the Angels do now?
"We go to Seattle and fight like hell," Trumbo said.
|The two-time defending AL champion Rangers assured themselves of at least a wild card. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
Nike Rangers Legend Issue Performance T-Shirt - Gray Shop Now!
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Mike Trout, CF||3||0||0||0||2||2||0||.321|
|Erick Aybar, SS||2||1||1||0||0||0||0||.290|
|Maicer Izturis, SS||3||0||0||0||0||1||3||.252|
|Albert Pujols, DH||5||1||1||1||0||0||0||.288|
|Torii Hunter, RF||4||2||3||1||1||0||0||.313|
|Mark Trumbo, 1B||5||2||3||2||0||0||2||.266|
|Alberto Callaspo, 3B||4||0||2||0||0||1||3||.257|
|a- Kendrys Morales, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.273|
|Howard Kendrick, 2B||4||1||2||3||0||1||3||.281|
|Vernon Wells, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.230|
|Bobby Wilson, C||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.212|
|b- Chris Iannetta, PH-C||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||.245|
|a-fouled out for Callaspo in the 9th|
|b-struck out for Wilson in the 6th|
|2B - Albert Pujols (49, Holland), Alberto Callaspo 2 (20, Holland, Holland)|
|HR - Mark Trumbo (32, Holland), Howard Kendrick (8, Holland)|
|RBI - Albert Pujols (104), Torii Hunter (91), Mark Trumbo 2 (94), Howard Kendrick 3 (64)|
|2-OUT RBI - Howard Kendrick 3 (29)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Kendrick-Izturis-Trumbo|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Ervin Santana (L,9-13)||2.2||7||6||6||1||1||3||5.16|
|HBP - Beltre (by Ervin Santana)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 56-37, Jerome Williams 42-24, Nick Maronde 10-5, LaTroy Hawkins 7-4, Scott Downs 10-5, Kevin Jepsen 10-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 2-5, Jerome Williams 3-3, Nick Maronde 1-0, LaTroy Hawkins 1-0, Scott Downs 1-1, Kevin Jepsen 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 17, Jerome Williams 12, Nick Maronde 3, LaTroy Hawkins 1, Scott Downs 3, Kevin Jepsen 4|
|Ian Kinsler, DH||5||0||0||0||0||0||2||.260|
|Elvis Andrus, SS||4||1||1||0||1||0||1||.289|
|Josh Hamilton, CF||5||0||3||1||0||2||2||.288|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.319|
|Mike Olt, 3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.152|
|Nelson Cruz, RF||3||1||1||0||1||0||2||.262|
|Michael Young, 2B||3||1||1||0||1||0||4||.274|
|Jurickson Profar, 2B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.176|
|David Murphy, LF||4||3||2||1||0||0||1||.306|
|Mike Napoli, C||3||2||3||6||1||0||0||.231|
|Mitch Moreland, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.272|
|2B - Josh Hamilton (30, Santana), Mike Napoli (9, Williams)|
|HR - David Murphy (15, Santana), Mike Napoli 2 (23, Santana, Santana)|
|RBI - Josh Hamilton (127), David Murphy (59), Mike Napoli 6 (55)|
|2-OUT RBI - Mike Napoli 3 (15)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Derek Holland (W,12-6)||6.2||12||7||7||2||5||2||4.69|
|Robbie Ross (H,9)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2.24|
|Koji Uehara (H,7)||1||0||0||0||0||3||0||1.87|
|Joe Nathan (S,37)||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||2.80|
|Pitches-Strikes - Derek Holland 108-71, Robbie Ross 8-5, Koji Uehara 23-15, Joe Nathan 14-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Holland 5-10, Robbie Ross 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Derek Holland 34, Robbie Ross 1, Koji Uehara 3, Joe Nathan 4|
|Attendance - 48089|
|Game Time - 3:17|
|Temperature - 71|
|Umpires - Home - Jim Joyce, First Base - Al Porter, Second Base - Jim Reynolds, Third Base - Mark Wegner|