Angels boost playoff hopes [ENGLISH]
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – David Murphy looked around at the loaded bases, the drawn-in infield and the left-handed Oakland pitcher on the mound in the bottom of the ninth inning of a crucial game for the Los Angeles Angels’ playoff hopes.
Murphy saw nothing but a chance to be a star — and to send the Angels’ improbable playoff surge into another day.
He drove a pinch-hit single into left field to end it, and the Angels kept the pressure on in the AL wild-card race with their sixth consecutive victory, 5-4 over the Athletics on Monday.
After celebrating wildly with his teammates and getting an ice water bucket dumped on his head, Murphy praised the tenacity of a team that was all but finished before going a majors-best 17-8 in September.
Said Murphy: “People say it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. We’re finishing strong.”
Albert Pujols tied it with his 558th career homer in the sixth inning for the Angels, who have won nine of 11 to make the AL race awfully tight heading into the final six days.
Johnny Giavotella and Erick Aybar had early run-scoring doubles as Los Angeles (82-74) remained a half-game behind the Houston Astros (83-74), and one game ahead of the Minnesota Twins (81-75).
Los Angeles also closed within just two games of the AL West-leading Rangers (84-72).
Twins 4, Indians 2
In Cleveland, emergency starter Tommy Milone replaced an ill Phil Hughes and pitched Minnesota to a big win for its wild-card chances.
Blue Jays 4, Orioles 3
In Baltimore, Toronto edged closer to clinching the AL East title, getting a homer from Edwin Encarnacion and scoring a ninth-inning run to secure a comeback win over the Orioles.
Red Sox 5, Yankees 1
In New York, Eduardo Rodriguez became the first Boston rookie left-hander to win 10 games in 43 years.
Tigers 7, Rangers 4
In Arlington, Justin Verlander allowed one run in six innings, and Tyler Collins’ three-run home run sparked a five-run fifth inning.
Astros 3, Mariners 2
In Seattle, Chris Carter drove in the go-ahead run with Houston’s third solo homer and rookie Lance McCullers pitched effectively into the seventh.
Cardinals 3, Pirates 0
In Pittsburgh, Matt Carpenter raced home to break a scoreless tie in the ninth when two Pirates outfielders mishandled Jon Jay’s single, and Mark Reynolds followed with a two-run homer.
Nationals 5, Reds 1
In Washington, on another eventful afternoon at Nationals Park, Washington right-hander Max Scherzer came within five outs of his second no-hitter of the season.
Giants 3, Dodgers 2 (12)
In San Francisco, Zack Greinke and NL West-leading Los Angeles were denied a playoff-clinching party for at least another day, losing on pinch hitter Alejandro De Aza’s sacrifice fly.
Cubs 1, Royals 0 (11)
In Chicago, pinch hitter Chris Denorfia led off the 11th with a home run.
Article Source : The Japan Times » Sports category » Baseball
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