Rangers earn playoff berth with split of doubleheader
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Mike Napoli homered twice and knocked in six runs as the Texas Rangers edged the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 8-7, to earn a split of a doubleheader on Sunday.
Torii Hunter's two-run double in the ninth inning lifted the Angels over the Rangers, 5-4, earlier in the day.
The Rangers secured a playoff spot with the win as they sit two games ahead of the Oakland Athletics for the top spot in the AL West and the teams close out the season with a three-game series against each other in Oakland.
"We had a toast, but all it was, was congratulating them on getting to the postseason," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "But what we're after, we haven't got there yet. So enjoy it and go to Oakland and keep going."
The A's currently hold a three-game edge over the Angels for the AL's final wild card spot.
Derek Holland (12-6) received the win despite allowing seven runs on 12 hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings. Joe Nathan worked around a one-out walk in the ninth to earn his 37th save of the year.
Ervin Santana (9-13) was tagged for six runs on seven hits and a walk through just 2 2/3 innings for the Angels.
"We have to go out there and take care of our business," Hunter said of his team trailing the A's by three games with three left to play.
The Angels jumped out to a quick lead in their first at-bat as Erick Aybar hit a one-out single and rounded the bases the next batter on Albert Pujols' double to right-center field.
Hunter followed with a base hit up the middle to plate Pujols before Mark Trumbo hammered a ball over the left-field wall for a four-run advantage.
But Texas would score in each of the next three innings to go on top.
Josh Hamilton started the rally in the bottom of the first when he doubled in Elvis Andrus, who worked a one-out walk.
Back-to-back home runs by David Murphy and Napoli to start the second inning brought the Rangers within a run, and Napoli lifted a three-run shot to left field in the third for a 6-4 lead.
Nelson Cruz singled and Murphy reached base on a fielder's choice prior to Napoli's second homer of the game, which ended Santana's outing.
The Rangers later added to their lead in the fifth inning when Michael Young walked and Murphy singled before both came around to score on a Napoli double.
The Angels cut into their deficit in the seventh when Howie Kendrick followed a pair of singles by Hunter and Trumbo with a shot over the left-field wall to get within 8-7, but Koji Uehara struck out the side in the eighth and Nathan shut the door in the ninth to close out the game.
Aybar left the game in the second inning with a leg injury ... Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre left the game in the seventh inning with a left shoulder strain ... The Rangers are seeking their third straight division title ... The Angels hit 3-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.
10/01 01:21:37 ET