ARLINGTON, Texas — Mike Trout hit a leadoff triple in the ninth inning and scored on Albert Pujols' tiebreaking single, sending the wild card-contending Angels to a 2-1 win over the Rangers that kept Texas from clinching the AL West title Friday night.
Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson (6-4) appeared in his fourth consecutive game. Trout hit the second pitch deep into the right-center gap, then slid headfirst into third base before emphatically pumping his right arm toward his teammates in the dugout.
Pujols followed with a soft single to leftfield on the next pitch.
Texas went into Friday already assured a playoff spot, but able to secure the division title with a win over the Angels or a loss by second-place Houston.
Mike Morin (4-2), the fourth Angels pitcher, retired the only batter he faced when Adrian Beltre grounded out to end the eighth.
Joe Smith worked a perfect ninth for his fourth save, including a strikeout of slugger Josh Hamilton.
Shin-Soo Choo matched his career high with his 22nd homer leading off the Texas fourth to tie the score at 1. Choo is batting .413 (33-for-80) over his last 21 games to raise his batting average from .253 to .276, and has reached base in 51 of his last 53 games.