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Angels rout Mariners to secure playoff berth
Shoemaker, Pujols lead charge before leaving with injuries

The Angels now have an "X" next to their name in the standings, which is a good thing, because if you spent any time in their clubhouse after Monday night's 8-1 victory over the Mariners, you'd have no idea they had just become the first team in baseball to clinch a spot in the postseason.

There was no champagne, no music, no celebrating; hardly even a smile.

"Just one step," first baseman Albert Pujols called it. "We have three more to go."

"All business, dude," right fielder Kole Calhoun said. "It's nice to clinch a spot, but there's obviously bigger things in mind."

"We're excited, obviously," center fielder Mike Trout conceded. "But we have one thing on our mind -- winning the division."

The Angels, postseason primed for the first time since 2009, can do that as early as Wednesday. They're 10 1/2 games up on the A's for first place in the American League West, their magic number to clinch a division title down to three after their 11th win in the last 12 days.

Their latest victory, which saw the offense score seven runs against Hisashi Iwakuma and Matt Shoemaker shut out Seattle through the first seven frames, only put them one step closer to ensuring that their season won't come down to a singular Wild Card game. Read more...



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