Palmer, pals one-hit Rangers
There will be few relievers in the playoffs with as impressive credentials as a starter as Matt Palmer’s.
The Angels right-hander capped an improbable regular season with his final and perhaps most memorable start Wednesday night at Angel Stadium, uniting with four relievers for a combined one-hitter during a 5-0 victory over Texas.
Julio Borbon led off the game with a single to right-center, and the only other Rangers to reach base did so via five walks.
Palmer, Darren Oliver, Jose Arredondo, Kevin Jepsen and Rafael Rodriguez gave the Angels their first combined one-hitter since July 27, 2004, against Texas.
Palmer (11-2) improved to 9-1 as a starter with a 4.66 earned-run average, after going 0-2 with an 8.53 ERA in three previous major league starts before 2009. He is 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA in 26 games as a reliever, which is expected to be his role in the American League division series next week against Boston.
Nevertheless, Palmer said he didn’t think he was a lock to make the playoff roster.
“I feel I’ve done a great job and I hope to be able to keep doing a great job and help the team,” he said.
Last one in?
Robb Quinlan has made the Angels’ roster the last three times the team has reached the playoffs.
But there’s a chance the utility man could be the odd man out in the postseason, particularly if the Angels decide to make room on their roster for infielder Brandon Wood.
Although Wood spent most of the season with triple-A Salt Lake, Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said he wouldn’t hesitate to use players with little major league experience in the postseason. Wood brings versatility -- he can play first base, shortstop and third base -- and possesses superior power, hitting 22 homers in 99 games this season with the Bees.
Quinlan has provided a steady right-handed bat off the bench in seven seasons with the Angels and can play the corner outfield and infield spots. He’s hitting .231 with two homers and 11 runs batted in in 50 games.
Wood, who along with Quinlan played in a second consecutive game on Wednesday, said that he would like to do more than soak in the atmosphere should he make his first playoff roster.
“You want to not just be there,” he said, “but have a chance to have an impact on helping your team win.”
Watch the lamp
Trevor Bell participated in one of the more unusual celebratory dogpiles Monday night.
It included his mom and dad and took place in the family living room.
The Angels pitcher was confined to home because of flu-like symptoms and had to watch his team’s division-clinching victory on television. There was no champagne or beer for Bell because he was trying to recover from his illness.
“It was tough,” said Bell, who returned to the clubhouse Wednesday. “Sitting at home watching that on TV was probably the hardest thing I had to do all year. . . . Hopefully there will be more celebrations to come.”
The winner of the first Nick Adenhart Award was Jered Weaver, one of the late pitcher’s closest friends on the team.
Adenhart was scheduled to move into Weaver’s house the week in April that Adenhart was killed along with two friends when their car was broadsided by an allegedly drunk driver. Weaver is 15-8 with a 3.84 ERA.
“As close as we were and that we were going to be roommates this year, I think that he kind of helped me out, looking down on me,” said Weaver, whose teammates bestowed upon him the award given to the Angels’ top pitcher.
First baseman Kendry Morales, who leads the Angels with 33 homers and 105 RBI, was selected the team’s most valuable player.
Times staff writer Kevin Baxter contributed to this report.
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