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Holland outpitches Wilson, Rangers top Angels 6-2

Associated Press Modified: September 20, 2012 at 1:47 am •  Published: September 20, 2012
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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — C.J. Wilson's rough start was only one reason the Los Angeles Angels didn't capitalize on a golden chance to move up in the AL wild-card race.

With just two weeks left in the regular season, the Angels realize those chances are dwindling.

Derek Holland pitched seven innings of six-hit ball, Geovany Soto hit a late two-run homer and the Texas Rangers hurt the Angels' playoff chances with a 6-2 victory Wednesday night.

Alberto Callaspo hit a two-run homer for the Angels (81-68), who had won 15 of 20. Wilson and his teammates blew a chance to pull within 2½ games of slumping Oakland (84-64) for the second AL wild-card slot, instead sitting 3½ behind the Athletics and four games behind Baltimore with 13 to go.

Michael Young, Elvis Andrus and Mike Napoli had run-scoring extra-base hits in the third inning as the Rangers chased Wilson, their longtime teammate who flopped in his second-shortest start for Los Angeles.

"You can make it whatever you want to," said Mark Trumbo, who went 0 for 3. "I mean, if you treat it like a dire situation, I doubt that's going to do too much good for us. We're actually pretty loose right now, and I think that's the right way to go about it, as opposed to stressing out and trying to do too much."

One night after the Angels scored 11 runs without Albert Pujols, the Rangers dominated offensively and improved the AL's best record to 88-60 without sluggers Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre, who sat with injuries. Texas also moved 7½ games ahead of Los Angeles — and four ahead of the second-place A's in the AL West standings with Oakland's loss at Detroit.

"Of course we look at the scoreboard," said Young, who has an eight-game hitting streak. "It's that time of year. I'm a baseball fan. You can do both, though. Obviously, what we do on the field trumps scoreboard-watching, but you can be aware of what's going on."

Wilson (12-10) went winless in five starts this season against the Rangers after leaving Texas to sign a $77.5 million deal with his hometown team last December. He walked the bases loaded in the first inning and gave up three runs on four hits in the third, forcing manager Mike Scioscia to pull him early for Jerome Williams.

"I wasn't happy to get pulled out of the game, but I wasn't doing well, either," Wilson said. "So it's my own fault. We're trying to win the game, so I understand. ... You've seen their lineup, right? They have a lot of good hitters, not just two guys. Everybody can drive in runs on that team and everybody can go deep."

The high-priced left-hander had pitched at least three innings in every outing for Los Angeles except his first start of the season against Texas, when he didn't return after a nearly two-hour rain delay.

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