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Rangers Win 94th Game, Eliminate Angels Themselves

C.J. Wilson pitched just two innings, but the Rangers still managed to win their 94th game of the season - one shy of their franchise high mark - and eliminated the Angels from the Wild Card race in the process.

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 31: Mark Hamburger #58 of the Texas Rangers throws a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on August 31, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 31: Mark Hamburger #58 of the Texas Rangers throws a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on August 31, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
Getty Images

The Rangers clinched the American League West Friday night, but the Angels were not yet eliminated. Los Angeles was still alive in the Wild Card race entering Monday night's game in Anaheim, after the Boston Red Sox lost once again. 

The game was a contrast in motivation, as the Rangers pitched C.J. Wilson for just two innings, preparing him for Game 1 of their LDS this weekend. They followed him with call-up Mark Hamburger. The Angels started Dan Haren and threw him for eight innings and 119 pitches, desperate to stay alive in the race one more night. 

It was the Rangers' night once more, though, as they posted nine hits and four runs against Haren and Hamburger baffled the Angels for 3.2 innings before the Rangers' regular relief crew of Darren Oliver, Koji Uehara, Mike Adams and Neftali Feliz - and Oliver and Feliz in particular - stumbled through the final 3.1 innings to hang on for a 4-3 win and the Angels' final elimination. 

Elvis Andrus led the way offensively for the Rangers, with four hits that rose his season batting average to .282 and jumped his post-All Star on base to over .360. Adrian Beltre hit his 31st home run, and David Murphy added two hits and a stolen base. 

Ian Kinsler was unable to pick up his 30th stolen base of the season, leaving his quest for his second 30-30 season to the final two games. Jeff Mathis and Mike Scioscia appeared determined to not allow Kinsler the mark, to their detriment, as the Angels went out of their way to keep Kinsler from stealing early in the game and handed the Rangers an unearned run on an unnecessary Mathis throw. 

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.