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THERE'S NO MORE HOPE FOR ANGELS LOSS, A'S VICTORY MEANS ELIMINATION TEXAS 5, ANGELS 2.

Byline: BEN VILLA Staff Writer

Maybe today's game between the Athletics and the Mariners might have meant something to the Angels, but Kelvim Escobar didn't allow them a chance to find out.

The Angels were officially eliminated from the playoffs on Tuesday night after they lost 5-2 to the Texas Rangers in front of 37,339 at Angel Stadium while A's won in Seattle to win the American League West.

``We've played better baseball since July 1 but the A's were definitely in the driver's seat,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ``We had to basically win every one of our remaining games and that was a big challenge. Ultimately, we dug ourselves into too big of a hole to get out of.''

The loss ends a frustrating time for the Angels, who many thought would qualify for the postseason for the third year in a row and contend for a World Series title, especially with a $103 million payroll.

But any thoughts of those were quickly erased early in the game when Escobar couldn't get anybody out.

The right-hander was rocked by the Rangers for five runs and seven hits in just 1 2/3 innings of work.

``I can't explain what happened tonight,'' Escobar said. ``It was one of those games where I got my butt kicked. I fell behind early and they took advantage of it. I'm very disappointed right now.''

The Rangers jumped on him for two runs in the first inning when Michael Young reached on a single and Mark Teixeira hit his 30th home run of the season.

Then in the second inning, the Rangers went right back to work when Mark DeRosa led off with a base hit and he took third on a double by Ian Kinsler.

Rod Barajas and Nelson Cruz followed with RBI singles and a couple of batters later, Young added another RBI single to give the Rangers a 5-0 lead.

That was all for Escobar, who was replaced by Hector Carrasco, who did a good job of holding Texas at bay through five innings and allowing the Angels a chance to get back in the game.

But unfortunately for the Angels, they couldn't.

Ranger's starter Robinson Tejeda was effective, if not dominant, in 62/3 innings of work. He allowed 10 hits, but the Angels couldn't string them together and didn't put a runner in scoring position until the fourth inning.

But with Juan Rivera at second base and Adam Kennedy at first with just one out, Howie Kendrick went down swinging and Jose Molina grounded out to shortstop to end the threat.

The Angels finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth inning after Chone Figgins led off the inning with a single and he went to second on an infield single by Maicer Izturis.

But Orlando Cabrera struck out and the overly anxious Vladimir Guerrero swung at the second pitch he saw from Tejeda and flew out to right field. Garret Anderson did manage to drive in Figgins on a single to left field, but Rivera couldn't keep the inning going and wound up grounding out.

Rivera got the Angels a little closer in the bottom of the eighth inning when he hit his 23rd home run of the season off Rangers left-hander Ron Mahay.

But Wes Littleton came out of the bullpen and slammed the door shut in two innings of work to prevent any comeback attempt.

``Well it's here, it's over,'' Angels second baseman Adam Kennedy said. ``We gave it a good shot but we dug too big of a hole to get out of. We're all disappointed that this weekend series against Oakland won't mean anything.''

ben.villa@presstelegram.com

(562) 499-1338

CAPTION(S):

2 photos, box

Photo:

(1) The Angels' Tim Salmon, left, looks on as the Angels lose to Texas. The Angels were eliminated from playoff contention with the loss and Oakland's win.

Chris Carlson/Associated Press

(2) WEAVER

Box:

ANGELS vs. TEXAS

- Ben Villa
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 27, 2006
Words:663
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