Angels have been keeping an eye on Rangers

Angels have been keeping an eye on Rangers

Angels have been keeping an eye on Rangers
ANAHEIM -- In June, the Angels went eight games above .500, posting a 17-9 record.

Yet during the month, they actually lost ground to the American League West-leading Rangers, going from 4 1/2 games back to 5 1/2.

The Angels currently sit six games behind the Rangers and have split the six games played against their division rivals so far this season. They have 13 meetings remaining, however, including a three-game series this weekend at Angel Stadium.

It's not necessarily frustrating to not have gained ground on the Rangers, who own the second-best record in all of baseball this season at 55-36, Torii Hunter said. It's just a matter of two teams, who just so happen to be in the same division, both playing tremendous baseball.

"We're just trying to take the crown away form those guys. They're the champs," Hunter said. "All we can do is focus on what we can focus on, and that's the task at hand and winning games. Those guys are doing the same thing. They're looking back at us as much as we're looking up at them."

Though players can't afford to dwell on how far behind in the standings they are, Hunter and Mark Trumbo said, catching a glimpse of where the Angels stand is unavoidable. They're plastered everywhere on television, on the web and on the scoreboards in the ballparks.

"I look at the scores. You know what's going on," Hunter said. "When somebody tells you, 'We don't pay attention to it,' they're lying. I'm human."

With a team as strong as the Rangers are, Trumbo said to be constantly worried about how far back your team is could be discouraging.

There are two Wild Card teams in each league starting this year, but they must win a one-game playoff to advance to the division series, so it puts a premium on winning the division, Trumbo said.

"It's pretty much a no-brainer that if your season comes down to one game, it's very challenging," Trumbo said. "I mean, we'd relish the opportunity, but it'd be a lot easier to win the division."