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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Angels again Best of West

OAKLAND -- Mission accomplished.

In a scene reminiscent of last season, the Angels turned to a familiar winning formula and once again eliminated the A's on their home field to capture the American League West title for the second consecutive year and fifth overall.

And in doing so, they rode the strength of their ballclub -- solid pitching performances -- to register a 4-3 win Tuesday over the A's and their 91st victory of the season while becoming the first AL team this year to clinch a playoff berth.

"This game and this series was a microcosm of the whole season," manager Mike Scioscia said. "They kept their composure the whole year and they didn't let down tonight."

Ervin Santana tossed 6 2/3 solid innings and was backed by a bullpen that took it the rest of the way with Francisco Rodriguez shaking off a ninth-inning homer by Marco Scutaro for his 43rd save of the year. As the final out settled into Juan Rivera's glove, a shallow pop fly to left, the Angels began a raucous celebration on the field that carried into the clubhouse.

"The two biggest celebrations are right now and when you win the World Series," said Steve Finley, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and remained to play center field.

Source: MLB.COM


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