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ARLINGTON (AP/CBSDFW.COM) — Cole Hamels and the Texas Rangers finally clinched the AL West title on the last day of the regular season.
Hamels pitched a three-hitter, Adrian Beltre hit a go-ahead homer and the Rangers beat the Angels 9-2 Sunday, eliminating Los Angeles from playoff contention.
A year after their 95 losses were the most in the American League, two months after they were still eight games out of first place and three days after ensuring themselves a postseason spot, the Rangers wrapped up their sixth division title.
Texas plays its first AL division series game since 2011 on Thursday at Toronto or Kansas City.
Moments after the final out, AL West championship banners already were flying at the ballpark. The Rangers will go there under first-year manager Jeff Banister, whose team lost ace Yu Darvish to Tommy John surgery before the season started.
Next up, the Rangers are headed to Toronto for the American League Division Series. The series is a best-of-five.
Games one and two will be in Toronto on Thursday and Friday, and game three will be in Arlington on Sunday, Oct. 11. If games four and five are needed, game four will be in Arlington on Monday, Oct. 12, and game five will be in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14.
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