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FRIDAY HALOLINKS: Angels Can Clinch This Weekend

Up next for Angels: Friday vs. Oakland --
Jered Weaver vs. Gio GonzalezThe Angels enter this three-game series with a magic number of four to clinch their third consecutive American League West title. And if history is any guide, that should happen this weekend since the Angels sewed up five of their previous seven division crowns at home.

Athletics-Angels Preview - FOX Sports on MSN
Jered Weaver (15-7, 3.87 ERA) takes the ball for the Angels in the opener of this three-game series, trying to avoid losing three consecutive starts for the first time in his career. Weaver has recorded a 5.40 ERA in his last two starts - both on the road - after going 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA in his previous three. The right-hander hopes to bounce back at Angel Stadium, where he's 9-2 with a 2.89 ERA in 16 starts. Weaver has pitched well against the A's lately but hasn't defeated them since Sept. 4, 2007. He's 0-1 with a 2.83 ERA in five starts since. While Los Angeles is scuffling down the stretch, the A's have been one of baseball's biggest surprises over the past three weeks, going a major league-best 14-4 since Sept. 5.

Team Reports -
It is a point of pride for second baseman Howie Kendrick that he has been a .300 hitter at every level of his professional career. Keeping that distinction intact this season will take some work. Kendrick began the season in a two-month slump that led to his eventual demotion to Class AAA in June.

Team Reports II -
C Mike Napoli started Wednesday after missing three days with flu-like symptoms and a high temperature that resulted in him being hospitalized briefly to receive intravenous fluids. Napoli has just six hits in his past 56 at-bats.

Struggles have made Angels' Kevin Jepsen stronger --
Jepsen was reminded of his father's allegiances at the end of his senior year in high school when he was passed over in the first round of the draft, slicing as much as $300,000 off his signing bonus. "I remember him saying, 'It's all right. Now the Angels have a chance to pick you up,' " Jepsen, a second-round selection, says with a smile.

Jon Lester will start it off -
When the Red Sox open the playoffs in less than two weeks, their plan is to start Jon Lester [stats] - and not Beckett - in Game 1 of the American League Division Series. Beckett would start Game 2, to be followed by Clay Buchholz in Game 3.

Judge allows inmate to see beloved Red Sox play in Kansas City - Yahoo! Sports
On Wednesday, a judge in Van Buren County let Randy Barker out of jail so that the 'diehard' Red Sox fan (right) could go see Boston's 9-2 win in Kansas City with his father and brother.

You gotta check out the photo of this guy. Is he the typical BoSox fan or a typical Iowa convict? Both?

September 25 - BR Bullpen
Events, births and deaths that occurred on September 25.
1964 - Dean Chance beats the Twins' Jim Kaat 1 - 0 to become the Angels' first 20-game winner. Chance's five 1 - 0 wins in 1964 ties the major-league record.
1974 - In a revolutionary surgical operation, Dr. Frank Jobe repairs Tommy John's damaged ulnar collateral ligament by replacing the elbow tendon of the pitching arm with a tendon from the right wrist. The procedure, now known as Tommy John surgery, give the southpaw, who was unlikely ever be able to pitch again, an opportunity to win an additional 164 victories.