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Angels renew playoff race(s) in Toronto

Jerome-williams_600

The Angels will take the field beneath the closed dome at the Rogers Centre on Monday as far behind in the American League West as they've been in more than a month -- but closer in the wild-card standings then they've been since that race started.

With the Rangers idle, the Angels can move only a half-game up or down in the division standings no  matter what they do against the Blue Jays. They started their final road series of the season 4 1/2 games behind Texas with the Rangers' magic number for eliminating the Angels at six. That means any combination of Texas wins or Angels losses totaling six clinches the title for the Rangers.

But the Angels picked up a half-game on Boston in the wild-card race before batting practice had even started when the slumping Red Sox lost the opener of a day-night doubleheader to Baltimore at Fenway Park. That temporarily left them 3 1/2 games behind Boston and 1 1/2 behind idle Tampa Bay, which is second in the wild-card standings.

"We need to keep winning games," said Angels Manager Mike Scioscia, whose team has 10 games left to play. "Our focus on reaching our goal hasn’t changed. And what we need to do to reach our goal hasn’t changed. We don’t have the great luxury of a lot of do-overs right now."

Scioscia held outfielder Mike Trout out of Monday's starting lineup because the rookie is still experiencing  soreness after taking a foul ball off his calf in Baltimore. Scioscia hopes to have Trout back on the field Tuesday.

The lineups:

Angels

3B -- Maicer Izturis

DH-- Bobby Abreu

2B -- Howie Kendrick

RF -- Torii Hunter

1B -- Mark Trumbo

LF -- Vernon Wells

CF -- Peter Bourjos

SS -- Erick Aybar

C -- Bobby Wilson

P -- Jerome Williams

Toronto Blue Jays

SS -- Mike McCoy

LF -- Eric Thames

RF -- Jose Bautista

DH -- Adam Lind

1B -- Edwin Encarnacion

2B -- Kelly Johnson

3B -- Bret Lawrie

CF -- Colby Ramus

C -- J.P Arencibia

P -- Ricky Romero

-- Kevin Baxter, reporting from Toronto

ALSO:

Erick Aybar AL co-player of the week

Nick Adenhart's legacy lives on in Baltimore

Baltimore's Alfredo Simon throws at Torii Hunter, Mark Trumbo

Photo: Jerome Williams has started four games for the Angels, going 3-0 with a 3.90 earned-run average. Credit: Jason O. Watson / US Presswire

 
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