Rangers keep focus amid talk of clinching

Rangers keep focus amid talk of clinching

ANAHEIM -- The Angels have won three straight American League West titles and five of the last six. There is an outside chance the Rangers could clinch the division while they are in Anaheim.

Manager Ron Washington was asked before Monday's game if there would be any satisfaction in clinching on the defending champion's home turf, and he said absolutely not.

"I just want to do it," Washington said. "I'm not into satisfaction at somebody else's expense. I'm just trying to win."

Washington is also growing both weary and wary of talk about when and where the Rangers might clinch the division. As of Monday afternoon, the Rangers' magic number was still six. Washington made it clear that the Rangers still have too much work to do and still too far to go to start thinking about clinching and celebrating.

They are facing the Angels' three best pitchers in this series in Jered Weaver, Ervin Santana and Dan Haren, then open a four-game series with the Athletics on Thursday in Oakland. Although the Rangers have a nine-game lead in the West, Washington knows things could change quickly if his team loses focus.

"I'm just trying to get through Anaheim tonight," Washington said. "I'm just trying to stay focused on what's at hand and keep those guys focused on what's at hand. These guys [the Angels] are not going to lay down, Oakland is not going to lay down. When we get back home, Seattle is not going to lay down and then we've got these guys again.

"We've got to take care of business. These guys play us tough, Oakland plays us tough and Seattle plays us tough. We've got a nice lead, but I'm not comfortable."