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Angels beat Yankees, clinch AL West crown |

Angels beat Yankees, clinch AL West crown

The Associated Press
| Thursday, September 11, 2008 12:00 a.m

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Los Angeles Angels became the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff berth this season, winning their fourth AL West title in five years Wednesday.

Francisco Rodriguez earned his 56th save in closing out the Angels’ 4-2 victory over the New York Yankees. Second-place Texas lost to Seattle, 8-7, about an hour later, clinching the division for Los Angeles.

The Angels (88-57), with the best record in baseball, can now spend their final 17 games resting and setting up their rotation for the playoffs.

Robb Quinlan hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the fifth that put the Angels ahead.

Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth and moved within one save of Bobby Thigpen’s 18-year-old major-league record. He threw a called third strike past Hideki Matsui with runners at first and third for the final out.

Athletics 5, Tigers 2

In Detroit, Ryan Sweeney and Jack Cust hit back-to-back homers in the first inning for Oakland.

Sean Gallagher came off the disabled list and pitched four hitless innings for the A’s, who have won four of five.

Mariners 8, Rangers 7

In Seattle, Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez both had four hits for Seattle.

Ibanez had three RBI, and Suzuki moved within 10 of an eighth straight season with at least 200 hits. That would tie Wee Willie Keeler for the most 200-hit seasons to start a career.

Indians 7, Orioles 1

In Baltimore, Scott Lewis allowed three hits over eight shutout innings in his major-league debut to help Cleveland beat Baltimore.

Kelly Shoppach hit two solo homers and scored three runs for the Indians, who came in with a season-high six-game homerless drought. It was his third multihomer game of the season.

National League

Brewers 4, Reds 3

In Milwaukee, Mike Cameron singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, and Milwaukee rallied to avoid a three-game sweep.

The NL wild card-leading Brewers, who have won three of their last 10 games, trailed, 3-1, after six innings.

Cameron drew a leadoff walk in the seventh, moved up on a groundout and scored on shortstop Jeff Keppinger’s throwing error off Jason Kendall’s infield single.

Milwaukee loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth off David Weathers (2-6) before Tony Gwynn Jr. hit into a double play that scored J.J. Hardy for the tying run. Cameron singled in Ryan Braun to make it 4-3.

Guillermo Mota (5-5) tossed a perfect eighth to get the win, and Salomon Torres struck out the side in the ninth for his 27th save.

Brewers starter CC Sabathia struck out eight and allowed eight hits in seven innings.

Giants 4, Diamondbacks 3

In San Francisco, Eugenio Velez hit a two-out, two-run triple in the ninth inning, and San Francisco rallied to beat Arizona and complete a three-game sweep.

The Giants matched their season-high win streak of five straight while Arizona lost its sixth straight overall and 10th consecutive on the road to fall three games behind first-place Los Angeles in the NL West.

Bengie Molina started San Francisco’s comeback with a one-out single off reliever Brandon Lyon. Pinch-runner Ryan Rohlinger moved to second on a two-out walk before Velez hit an 0-2 pitch to the gap in right-center.

Marlins 7, Phillies 3

In Philadelphia, Ricky Nolasco struck out eight in 72/3 innings, and Luis Gonzalez homered for Florida.

Josh Willingham snapped a 3-all tie with an RBI double in the eighth and helped the Marlins win the three-game series. Dan Uggla added a two-run double in the ninth.

Ryan Howard hit his major league-leading 42nd homer for the Phillies.

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