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Hail to the Halos: Angels beat Rangers, win 3rd straight AL West

Big League Stew

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Enduring the loss of a young teammate, along with other lesser but challenging adversities, the Los Angeles Angeles closed out their third consecutive AL West title with an 11-0 rout of the Texas Rangers on Monday night.

Behind a complete game by Ervin Santana(notes), along with offensive contributions from Maicer Izturis(notes) (3-for-4, 2 RBIs), Kendry Morales(notes) (HR, three RBIs) and Bobby Abreu(notes) (three hits), the Angels reached the playoffs for the sixth time in eight seasons under manager Mike Scioscia.

In the screen cap above, that's catcher Mike Napoli(notes) hugging Santana, who started the season with an elbow injury — one of many injuries decimating the pitching staff this season.

In the postgame celebration, teammates doused the jersey of Nick Adenhart(notes) with beer. Adenhart was killed in a car crash in April and the team has carried his No. 34 wherever it plays.

"He's in our hearts," teammate Gary Matthews said in a TV interview. "He's never far from us even when we're out there playing on the field. ... It's been a really trying year."

The Rangers' loss also reduced to 1 the Red Sox's magic number to clinch the wild card. Texas was in the hunt for the playoffs until wilting in September.

More to come ...

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