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Angels chasing history as well as Rangers

September 16, 2011 |  3:58 pm

After a day off, part of which was spent traveling from Oakland to Baltimore, the Angels resumed their pursuit of the division-leading Texas Rangers on Friday, sending Dan Haren to the mound against the Orioles in the opener of a three-games series.

Angels_logo But the Angels, who began the day trailing Texas by 3 1/2 games in the American League West, aren't chasing just the Rangers. They're chasing history as well since no AL team has ever overcome a 3 1/2-game deficit in the final 13 games to win a division or league title, according to Stats LLC.

It's been done five times in the National League since 1964, most recently by the 2007 Philadelphia Phillies. The Dodgers also erased a 3 1/2-game deficit to win the NL title in 1965, a year after the St. Louis Cardinals pulled off the greatest pennant-race chase in history, overcoming a 6 1/2-game deficit in the final 13 games to edge out Philadelphia.

"So it's doable," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. "But that doesn't change our focus. We need to win games."

That is what Haren has done in his last two starts. In his most recent outing, in Anaheim, the right-hander shut out the New York Yankees on four hits, raising his season record to 15-8. What's more, he's unbeaten in Baltimore, going 3-0 with 2.43 ERA in five career starts while holding the Orioles to a .193 average.

The lineups:


SS -- Erick Aybar

2B -- Howie Kendrick

DH -- Bobby Abreu

RF -- Torii Hunter

1B -- Mark Trumbo

3B -- Alberto Callaspo

LF -- Vernon Wells

CF -- Peter Bourjos

C -- Jeff Mathis

P -- Dan Haren

Baltimore Orioles

LF --- Matt Angle

SS -- J.J. Hardy

RF -- Nick Markakis

DH -- Vladimir Guerrero

C -- Matt Wieters

3B -- Chris Davis

1B -- Mark Reynolds

CF -- Nolan Reimold

2B -- Robert Andino

P -- Tommy Hunter


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-- Kevin Baxter reporting from Baltimore