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Rangers repeat as American League West champs

Sep 24, 2011, 1:45 AM EDT

Ian Kinsler, Adrian Beltre

Three teams clinch their divisions in the very same night? Now this is fun.

Thanks to a win over the Mariners and a little help from the Athletics, the Rangers are American League West champions for the second straight season. They defeated the Mariners 5-3 earlier in the evening, but the ginger ale didn’t flow until the Athletics beat the second-place Angels 3-1 nearly two hours later.

Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre both went deep in the victory while Craig Gentry added an inside-the-park home run. Hamilton now has 25 home runs on the season, including six in his last 10 games. Look out, American League. Matt Harrison made his pitch for a spot in the playoff rotation by giving up three runs over six innings. The southpaw has allowed three runs or less in each of his last four starts.

One of the big storylines entering the season was whether the Rangers would be able to survive without Cliff Lee, but I think that question is far more relevant now than it was during the regular season. C.J. Wilson has taken a huge step forward in his contract year while Derek Holland has enjoyed a fantastic second half, but it gets a little dicey from there. Then again, the other contenders in the American League don’t have a lot of quality depth in their starting rotations either.

Anyway, with the American League West out of the way, now all six divisions have been decided. All eyes on the Wild Card.

  1. cur68 - Sep 24, 2011 at 2:23 AM

    This is it. My pick for the AL crown. No logic, no reasoning on if their pitching is good enough, hitting is hot enough or managing is good enough. I like that Nolan Ryan is the face of the team’s brass. I like how they came out of nowhere, I like how Ron Washington gets faint praise and is still the only manager they’ve ever had that’s got them to the Series. Now it’s 2 post season appearances on the trot.

    If they go all the way to the big dance, then this is my team for the WS.

  2. artisan3m - Sep 24, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    The Rangers have all the ingredients to take it all. There is no better defense in MLB, there is no weakness anywhere in their batting order, and Texas has arguably the best bullpen and bench in the game. If there is a question mark it is in the pitching rotation. But that same “questionable” pitching helped them win a division ~ ~ again. Wilson, Lewis and Holland are having a great season. If Harrison and Ogando come through, the Rangers will take the Series. Yeah, I know about Philly ~ but they can’t pitch Lee every night.

  3. miketreedy - Sep 24, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    Congrats Rangers! I think this team is better than last year. Everyone is contributing big time for this team incl. all 5 SP, the batting has been amazing and now the RP core is looking much stronger. They don’t have Cliff Lee but do have a full staff pitching well. No reason this team can’t make it back to the World Series this year and win it.

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