(The Sports Xchange) - The Texas Rangers guaranteed themselves a post-season spot by beating the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday with third baseman Adrian Beltre driving in three runs for Texas, though just making the playoffs was not enough for the team.
”We’re trying to get this division,“ Texas center fielder Delino DeShields said. ”It’s a good feeling to be guaranteed in the playoffs, but we’re not done yet.
“We’ve got one more game to get the division and that’s the goal we’ve been working for all year.”
The Rangers (87-72) can do no worse than a wild card and are three games ahead of Houston (84-75) in the American League West with three games left in the regular season.
The Astros begin a three-game series with Arizona on Friday.
Texas needs one more win, or an Astros loss, to clinch their sixth division title.
The Angels, last year’s West champion, were eliminated from the division race, but are still alive for a playoff berth.
Los Angeles and Minnesota are 83-76, one game behind Houston for the second wild card spot.
The New York Yankees (87-72) locked down the other wild card with their victory over Boston earlier on Thursday.
“We have to win out,” Angels center fielder Mike Trout said. “We can’t lose anymore. It’s plain and simple.”
Rangers starter Derek Holland (4-3) worked into the seventh and allowing three runs on Thursday. The left-hander struck out six and gave up three hits in 6-1/3 innings.
“I thought Derek threw the ball very well,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said.
“The ball came out clean. The breaking ball showed up again, the changeup was there and, more than anything else, there was life on the fastball.”
Texas closer Shawn Tolleson picked up his 35th save of the season after a perfect ninth.
“We’ve got to win one more,” Tolleson said. “We’ve got to win the West.”
Los Angeles starter Andrew Heaney (6-4) allowed four runs on five hits and walked five in 4-1/3 innings.
Heaney worked around control issues with two double plays through the first four innings to keep the Rangers scoreless.
Texas broke through in the fifth by taking advantage of Heaney’s fourth and fifth walks to score four times. Beltre had the big blow, a three-run double to chase Heaney.
“I need to bounce that,” Heaney said of the low slider to Beltre.
“I‘m not surprised. That guy is really freaking good.”
Compiled by Greg Stutchbury