Angels grab AL West title from Athletics

Posted: Sunday, October 03, 2004

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Anaheim Angels capped a stirring comeback with one final rally, and now they're champions of the AL West for the first time in 18 years.

Chasing Oakland and Texas for most of the season, the Angels scored three times in the eighth inning to beat the Athletics 5-4 Saturday and clinch the division title.

Darin Erstad hit a tying, two-run double and scored on Garret Anderson's single as the Angels earned their first playoff berth since 2002, when they won the World Series as the wild-card team.

It's still not sure who the Angels will face in the first round of the playoffs -- it will either be the New York Yankees or Boston.

The Athletics dropped to 12-18 in September -- a shocking development for a team that's been the best in baseball in the final month the past four years.

After seven strong innings by Barry Zito, A's relievers Jim Mecir, Ricardo Rincon (1-1) and Octavio Dotel couldn't hold a 4-2 lead.

Brendan Donnelly (5-2) pitched 1 2-3 innings for the win and Troy Percival finished for his 33rd save in 38 chances.

Twins 5, Indians 5, suspended

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota and Cleveland were tied at 5-all after 11 innings Saturday when the game was suspended because the Metrodome field needed to be changed over for the later Penn State-Minnesota football game.

The Twins and Indians will resume at 1:10 p.m. Sunday, followed by the regularly scheduled season finale between the two teams.

Blue Jays 4, Yankees 2

TORONTO -- Roy Halladay pitched eight strong innings to beat an impressive Kevin Brown.

Brown (10-6), auditioning for a spot in the Yankees' postseason rotation, held the Blue Jays to one hit -- Vernon Wells' double in the fourth -- and one unearned run through five innings.

With Orlando Hernandez struggling with a tired arm, Brown might start Game 3 of the playoffs. Mike Mussina is likely to start Tuesday's playoff opener, followed by Jon Lieber in Game 2.

Two days after clinching their seventh straight AL East title, the Yankees started just two regulars, Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui. Posada left the game in the fifth with stiffness in his back.

Red Sox 7, Orioles 5

Red Sox 7, Orioles 5

BALTIMORE -- Doug Mientkiewicz hit a tiebreaking two-run triple in the seventh inning, and the Boston Red Sox rallied to beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-5 Saturday night for a doubleheader sweep.

In the opener, Bronson Arroyo threw three shutout innings in his final tuneup before the playoffs, and Johnny Damon drove in three runs to lead Boston to a 7-5 victory.

The Red Sox, who long ago clinched the AL wild-card slot, used two lineups littered with backups. Manny Ramirez did not play in either game, David Ortiz and Kevin Millar sat out the opener, and Damon and Bill Mueller were among those who spent the nightcap on the bench.

Royals 10, White Sox 2

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Ruben Gotay drove in four runs with his first major league homer and a triple, helping Brian Anderson and Kansas City snap a seven-game losing streak.

Calvin Pickering and Angel Berroa also homered for Kansas City. The Royals already have a franchise-record 103 defeats with one game left.

Anderson (6-12) pitched his second complete game of the year, giving up seven hits. He struck out four and walked one.

Tigers 5, Devil Rays 1

DETROIT -- Marcus Thames had his first two-homer game and drove in three runs.

Craig Monroe also homered for Detroit, which set a major league record by having 11 players with at least 10 home runs.

Gary Knotts (7-6) allowed one run and four hits, walked two and struck out four in 7 2-3 innings.

Scott Kazmir (2-3) gave up four runs and five hits in six innings, walked one and struck out six.

Rangers 10, Mariners 4

SEATTLE -- Michael Young had a two-run homer and got three hits, spoiling Edgar Martinez Day in Seattle.

The sellout crowd of 45,817 got a special treat when Martinez, Seattle's retiring designated hitter, started the ninth inning at third base, his first appearance at third since July 2, 1997. He stayed in for one pitch, leaving to a standing ovation and scattered boos when Willie Bloomquist took the field.

Martinez didn't have a good day at the plate, going hitless with a walk in three at-bats.

Kenny Rogers (18-9) pitched into the sixth, allowing three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and one walk.

Jamie Moyer (7-13) pitched five innings, allowing six runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and a walk.

On Friday, Ichiro Suzuki broke George Sisler's 84-year-old record of 257 hits in a season. Suzuki boosted his total to 260 hits with a fifth-inning single, going 1-for-5. He leads the majors with a .371 average.

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