ARLINGTON, Texas AP Los Angeles has nearly reached all the goals it set out for in the regular season.
Now Angels record-setting closer Francisco Rodriguez has his eyes set on a bigger prize.
‘This could be the year that we win the championship,’ said Rodriguez, who burst on the scene when the Angels won the World Series title in 2002. ‘We have tremendous chemistry here. We’re peaking in every department.’
The Angels (95-59) assured themselves of at homefield advantage in at least the first round of the playoffs with the win.
Los Angeles, which also has the best record in baseball, has a 2 1/2 game lead over AL East leader Tampa Bay in the race for the league’s best mark and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Angels have a 20 1/2 game lead over the second-place Rangers, who have lost three in a row. Los Angeles can become the first AL team since Cleveland in 1999 to win a division by 20 games over their closest pursuer.
‘It certainly has importance,’ Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said of gaining homefield. ‘We have an opportunity to accomplish everything in the regular season that can be accomplished and that’s important to us.’