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Rangers clinch AL West

The Sports Xchange
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The Oakland A's proved to be the difference in the AL West.

The Rangers beat them. Los Angeles didn't.

The Rangers' 5-3 win over Seattle Friday night combined with Los Angeles' 3-1 loss to Oakland clinched the Rangers' second consecutive AL West championship. They lead the division by six games with five to play. The Rangers went 13-6 against Oakland, including two wins in three games earlier in the week; the Angels are 7-10.

The Rangers jumped out to a 5-0 lead Friday on early homers by third baseman Adrian Beltre and outfielder Josh Hamilton. They held on late after the Mariners mounted something of a comeback.

About 10,000 fans remained at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, along with the team to watch the finish of the Angels game versus Oakland. When Oakland's David DeJesus hit an eighth inning homer to put the A's up 3-1, shortstop Elvis Andrus rounded the bases to the delight of the fans.

The win means a second consecutive trip to the AL playoffs for the Rangers, which club president and CEO Nolan Ryan said signifies the team's pursuit of consistent and continued success.

"When you can do it back-to-back, that says a lot about your ballclub," he said. "That's the hardest thing to do. This team was determined to win the division again. You look at all the injuries and things that we went through and every time we had an issue, somebody stepped up. It says a lot about the character of this team.

"But I also thing they are determined to accomplish a lot more than just winning the division."

The Rangers assured themselves the chance to do that on Friday.

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

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