If the Los Angeles Angels are to clinch the AL West title Wednesday, they may have to wait around in their clubhouse for some time.
The Angels try again to assure themselves of at least a tie for the division crown when they finish a three-game set with the New York Yankees in Anaheim.
Los Angeles (87-57) lost 7-1 on Tuesday in its first chance to clinch a tie for the title. Its magic number remained at two to win the AL West outright when Texas won at Seattle 7-3 on Tuesday.
If the Angels can win Wednesday, they will clinch if the Rangers lose to the Mariners. That game, however, is scheduled to begin at Safeco Field about an hour after the game in Anaheim so the Angels will likely have to stick around if they want to celebrate.
In any case, it’s inevitable that Los Angeles will be headed for the playoffs. The Angels have the best record in baseball and feel they can win their second World Series title in franchise history.
“I don’t think we’ve seen our whole team out there for any stretches of time that it can be,” manager Mike Scioscia told the Angels’ official Web site. “This team has incredible potential still to be realized. I think the opportunity is there for us to be one of the truly special Angels’ teams since I’ve been here in nine years.”
New York (77-68) won for the first time in five games in Anaheim on Tuesday as captain Derek Jeter reached a milestone. Jeter had two hits to move past Babe Ruth for second place on the Yankees’ all-time hit list.
“It sounds funny,” Jeter said. “Anytime you’re mentioned in the same sentence as players like that it makes you feel weird. You play long enough and you’re consistent enough, you’re going to make things happen. I’ve been fortunate.”
Johnny Damon added two home runs for New York, which is in fourth place in the AL East and 8 1/2 games behind AL wild card leader Boston with 17 games left. The Yankees have reached the postseason the previous 13 seasons.
On Wednesday, they will face Dustin Moseley (1-4, 7.90 ERA), who will make his second career start against New York. He allowed two runs over five innings in a 7-6, 10-inning win over the Yankees on Aug. 20, 2007.
Moseley had a rough outing Friday against the Chicago White Sox, yielding four runs in 1 1-3 innings in a 10-2 loss. It was his first start in the majors since July 13 since he was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake on Sept. 2.
New York’s Andy Pettitte (13-12, 4.49) tries to avoid losing four straight decisions for the second time this season. He is 0-3 with a 7.50 ERA in his last three starts.
The veteran left-hander was fairly effective, however, on Friday at Seattle when he gave up three runs over seven innings in a 3-1 loss.
Pettitte is 0-1 with an unsightly 8.76 ERA in two starts against the Angels this season.