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Angels soar toward division lead

The Sports Xchange
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One week ago when the Rangers were within one inning of a four-game sweep at Angel Stadium that would have dropped the Angels eight games back in the AL West, no one would have expected the Angels to be heading to Texas for a three-game rematch with a chance to emerge with a share of first place.

Well, almost no one.

"You better go ask someone else," Angels veteran Torii Hunter said. "I told you before -- I've been there before. Nine, 10 games out and won the division in the 162nd game (with the Twins in 2006).

"I know there's light at the end of the tunnel. Do what you gotta do and as long as you've got a breath in you, you're still alive."

The Angels have more than a breath. They gained 4 1/2 games on the Rangers by winning a season-high six consecutive games starting with a two-run walkoff home run by Mark Trumbo in the final game of that four-game series against the Rangers. The Rangers have lost four of five and went into their game against the Red Sox Thursday just 2 1/2 games up on the Angels.

"We came back from that road trip and some teams had taken it to us," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, referring to a 2-4 stumble through New York and Toronto before the Angels faced the Rangers in Anaheim last week. "We weren't playing to a level we wanted to and you saw the standings reflect that. As we've been able to reverse that, we've climbed back to where we were a couple weeks ago. Now we need to continue that."

The Angels have indeed been playing much better. During their six-game winning streak, they have outscored their opponents (the Rangers, Orioles and White Sox) 39-17 while batting .314 as a team, including .380 (21-for-54) with runners in scoring position, and hitting 10 home runs.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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