The Angels took sole possession of first place for the first
time this season and set a club record with their 94th win, beating
the Texas Rangers 13-4 Sunday night.
"That's what you play for,'' center fielder Darin Erstad said.
"It's a very special thing we've got going here. And we're not
done yet. We've done a real good job focusing on each individual
day, and that's what we're going to continue to do.''
The Angels' 16th victory in 17 games -- coupled with Oakland's
loss to Seattle -- gave them a one-game lead over the Athletics
heading into Monday's opener of a four-game series at Oakland.
"We need wins, no matter where it is or who it's against.
That's our only focus. That's all we're here to do,'' Glaus said.
"If we play well, we'll give ourselves the best chance we possibly
can. Oakland's one of the best teams going, so we look forward to
Anaheim's magic number for clinching a playoff spot is six. It
would be the franchise's first postseason berth in 16 years.
"I think Oakland's got the best team in the American League,''
Texas shortstop Alex Rodriguez said. "But Anaheim, as hot as they
are right not, they can beat anyone. They need to ride that wave
right into the postseason and not cool off before then.''
The last time the Angels led their division alone in September
was exactly four years ago -- on Sept. 15, 1998, when they were
81-69 with a one-game edge over Texas. But they lost eight of their
final 12 and finished three games behind the Rangers.
The last time the Angels led the division by themselves at any
point in the season was April 11, 2000.
Glaus tied a career high with six RBI, giving him 101 this year
and making him the second player in team history with three
consecutive 100-RBI seasons. Garret Anderson also accomplished the feat this year.
Glaus hit a solo homer off Kenny Rogers (13-8) in the fifth
inning, a two-run shot off Jay Powell in the seventh and a
three-run drive against Juan Alvarez in the eighth for his 27th of
the season and first career three-homer game.
"He's capable of doing that at any time,'' Erstad said. "He
has the ability to single-handedly win a game, and there aren't a
lot of guys in the game who can do that.''
Ramon Ortiz (14-9) won his fifth straight decision, allowing
four runs and five hits in seven innings. The right-hander struck
out six and improved to 9-1 career against Texas.
The Angels, who overcame a 5-0 deficit in the first inning to
beat the Rangers 7-6 Saturday, scored five times in the first en
route to their sixth straight win.
Shawn Wooten hit a two-run double to open the scoring. Benji Gil
and Alex Ochoa added RBI singles, and Gil scored the fifth run when
Rodriguez threw wildly to second for his eighth error of the
Earlier in the inning, Erstad was safe at second on a fielder's
choice grounder to second by Glaus. Rodriguez took the backhanded
flip from Michael Young after crossing over the bag, and umpire
Jerry Meals didn't let Rodriguez get away with the neighborhood
"That was the most bizarre first inning I've ever been involved
with in my career,'' Rodriguez said. "But we still felt optimistic
having Kenny on the mound -- especially after yesterday after they
came back from a 5-0 deficit. So we had that to drive us tonight.''
The Rangers narrowed the gap to 5-3 in the fourth on Hank
Blalock's sacrifice fly and Young's two-run double off the glove of
a diving Tim Salmon near the right-field line.
Rogers allowed seven runs -- five earned -- and six hits in five
innings, including back-to-back homers by Glaus and Scott Spiezio
in the fifth.
Ivan Rodriguez led off the sixth with his 17th home run and the
218th by the Rangers, who lead the majors. They have homered in 32
of their last 33 games and each of their last 17 on the road.
The Rangers committed three errors in the first inning
after making only one in their previous 10 games. ... Rogers is 9-9
with a 4.73 ERA in 25 starts against the Angels since pitching a
perfect game against them July 28, 1994. ... No one has attempted
to steal second base against Rogers in any of his 31 starts. ...
Angels SS David Eckstein was out with a hip flexor, 2B Adam Kennedy
had the flu and Anderson was sidelined by a strained right
hamstring. Anderson, who leads the Angels with 26 homers and 114
RBIs, was injured while beating out an infield hit Saturday. ...
The Angels are 48 games over .500 (147-99) when Eckstein starts in
the leadoff spot -- and 22-43 when he doesn't. ... Glaus became the
10th Angels player to hit three homers in a game, and first since
Dave Winfield on April 13, 1991, at Minnesota. ... Glaus' 25 career
homers against the Rangers are his most against any opponent.
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