Anaheim Angels clinch AL West title with win over the Yankees

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) âÄî The Los Angeles Angels became the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff spot this season, winning their fourth AL West title in five years Wednesday. Francisco Rodriguez earned his 56th save in closing out the AngelsâÄô 4-2 victory over the New York Yankees. Second-place Texas lost to Seattle 8-7 about an hour later, clinching the division for Los Angeles. The Angels, with the best record in baseball, can now spend their final 17 games resting and setting up their rotation for the playoffs. Los Angeles won the crown without starters Chone Figgins (injured), Mark Teixeira (ill) and Torii Hunter, who began serving a two-game suspension for helping trigger a bench-clearing scuffle with Yankees catcher Ivan Rodriguez on Monday. The Angels will try to do something that none of their previous division-winning teams accomplished âÄî reach the World Series. They won their first and only World Series title as a wild-card team in 2002. Perhaps, there might even be the first Freeway Series this year âÄî the Dodgers lead the NL West. Robb Quinlan hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the fifth inning that put the Angels ahead. Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth and moved within one save of Bobby ThigpenâÄôs 18-year-old major league record. He threw a called third strike past Hideki Matsui with runners at first and third for the final out. Dustin Moseley (2-4) allowed two runs and three hits in five innings while making a spot start for Jered Weaver, whose injured fingers pushed him back to Thursday. Moseley struck out six and walked three in winning for the first time since April 9 against Cleveland. Andy Pettitte (13-13) lost for the sixth time in his last nine starts. The left-hander gave up four runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings, tying his second-shortest outing of the season. The Yankees finished 5-5 on their four-city trip, making it likely theyâÄôll miss the playoffs for the first time in 13 years. They head to New York for their final 10 games at Yankee Stadium. Leading 2-1, Pettitte nearly got out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth. After giving up consecutive singles to Gary Matthews Jr., Garret Anderson and Vladimir Guerrero, he retired Juan Rivera and Kendry Morales on called third strikes. Facing a full count, Quinlan lined a single to left, scoring two runs. Guerrero continued home on Xavier NadyâÄôs throw that sailed over the head of third baseman Alex Rodriguez and into the netting for an error, allowing the Angels to take a 4-2 lead. New York scored both of its runs in the first on Jason GiambiâÄôs RBI single and a balk by Moseley that allowed Bobby Abreu to score from third. The Angels scored their first run on RiveraâÄôs RBI groundout in the first. Notes: 1B Teixeira sat out because of an infection and a temperature. Figgins was not in the starting lineup for the second straight game because of a sore right elbow. He got hit by a pitch during MondayâÄôs game and manager Mike Scioscia said Figgins was having difficulty throwing and swinging the bat. … Weaver (10-10) was announced as ThursdayâÄôs starter against Seattle, with cuts on the right middle and ring fingers of his pitching hand having healed. âÄúIâÄôll throw everything,âÄù he said. âÄúIt just depends on how sharp everything is.âÄù The Angels reached 3 million in attendance, making them and the Yankees the only teams to do so in each of the last six seasons. … Twins want All-Star game MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ The Minnesota Twins say theyâÄôll make a push to host the 2014 All-Star game in their new stadium. Twins officials and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said Wednesday that the Twin Cities area showed it could handle a major event with last weekâÄôs Republican National Convention. The Twins are due to open a new ballpark in 2010 in downtown Minneapolis. The 2009 All-Star game is in St. Louis, and the Los Angeles Angels will host the 2010 game. Arizona is the expected host in 2011, Kansas City in 2012 and the New York MetsâÄô Citi Field in 2013.