The Angels do not need a complicated formula to figure out their chance to make the playoffs. They must win their final three games, and the Oakland Athletics must lose their final three games.
Then, and only then, could the Angels force a tiebreaker for the final playoff spot.
That means the Angels need seven games to go their way – and maybe eight, depending on the Tampa Bay Rays. Not much chance of that, and so the Angels all but called it a season Sunday night.
Mike Napoli drove the ceremonial stake into the heart of his former team. Napoli drove in six runs – on two home runs and a double – to power the Texas Rangers to an 8-7 victory in the second game of a doubleheader.
The Angels’ loss enabled the Rangers, New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles all to clinch playoff spots. The A’s clinched at least a tie.
It didn’t have to be this way. The Angels won the first game of the doubleheader in a raucous ninth-inning rally, then scored four runs in the first inning of the second game.
They handed that 4-0 lead to Ervin Santana, who gave it all back within three innings, in what might well have been the final start of his Angels career.
Santana gave up one run in the first, two in the second and three in the third. He also gave up three home runs, two to Napoli.
In 17 games against the Angels this season, Napoli hit six home runs and drove in 16 runs. He is batting .442 against the Angels, .197 against everyone else.
The Angels stirred in the seventh inning. The Rangers had built an 8-4 lead when Howie Kendrick hit a two-out, three-run home run.
However, the Angels got no closer than 8-7. Texas closer Joe Nathan, who blew the save in the first game of the doubleheader, pitched a hitless ninth for the save.
Santana gave up 39 home runs this season, the most in the major leagues, one shy of the franchise record shared by Shawn Boskie and Ramon Ortiz.
Santana finishes the season 9-13 with a 5.16 earned-run average. The Angels probably will decline his $13-million option next season. He has given up 203 homers in his career, second in club history to Chuck Finley (254), but Finley did it in 436 games and Santana in 236.