Rangers still not quite able to clinch title

ARLINGTON, Texas -- It seems like the last few weeks of this 2012 season have moved very slowly. The Texas Rangers, in first place since April 9 -- after the fourth game of the season -- know they are close to a third consecutive AL West title. But it's been in view for a while now and they still haven't been able to quite wrap it up.

There's no concern that they won't. But with a chance to reduce the magic number to at least two on Friday, Texas fell behind early and wasn't able to catch up against the Angels, who are desperate to stay in the wild-card race.

"We're just trying to go out there and win ballgames," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "If you win ballgames, that definitely takes care of itself. Anaheim came in and they jumped on us. They swung the bat and we fell behind. We just couldn't catch up."

The Rangers remain firmly in the driver's seat. They've got five games left and control their own destiny. But they'd also like to get this done as quickly as they can so that they can line up the pitching staff and get some regulars some rest.

"I've said for a while, we're not taking anything for granted," outfielder David Murphy said. "We're just going to take them one game at a time, come out and play hard and keep fighting and trying to rack up wins."

They'll get another shot at 3:05 p.m. on Saturday with Derek Holland on the mound against Ervin Santana.