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It's Official: The Race is On

Angels' tear puts Rangers on guard

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Welcome to the Bronx, Mr. Pujols

    We knew it couldn't last forever. The Los Angeles Angels got off to a horrible start this season, as the Texas Rangers got off to a scorching one. Before you could blink an eye, the Rangers held a 9-game lead in the AL West over their fiercest rivals who had bulked up in the off-season by signing the Rangers' ace and the greatest slugger of this generation.

    Albert Pujols got off to a comically bad start that he's going to spend the rest of the season trying to dig his way out of, and aside from C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver, the Angels' vaunted pitching staff was very hittable and their bullpen was in shambles.

    The Rangers are on a nice five-game winning streak right now, and it's a good thing because the Angels have reeled off seven straight, including a come-from-behind victory over the New York Yankees on Monday night to vault them into second place in the AL West as the Seattle Mariners and Oakland A's have combined to lose 11 straight games.

    It sure would seem things are settling in just the way everyone thought they would, and that's a great thing for baseball fans as the Rangers and Angels still have 16 games left against each other, including three this weekend when the Rangers head out west to Anaheim.

    Albert Pujols is hitting, up to .232 from his sub-.200 days of not too long ago, and is up seven home runs on the season. The bullpen is better with the addition of Ernesto Frieri from San Diego and his 11 innings so far of no-hit relief work. One thing for Rangers fans to watch for is the status of Weaver, who left Monday's start in the first inning with an apparent back injury, but make no mistake, this race is officially on.