Atlanta Braves

Braves trade Teixeira

BOSTON — The Los Angeles Angels acquired slugging first baseman Mark Teixeira from the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, a trade that further bolsters the team with the best record in the major leagues.

The Angels, with a whopping 11-game lead in the AL West and clearly aimed at making a World Series run, sent first baseman Casey Kotchman and minor league pitcher Steve Marek to Atlanta.

The deal came two days before baseball’s deadline for making trades without waivers. Teixeira was among the top names in the rumor mill, and should help a club that wanted to add another big bat to back its potent pitching staff.

Teixeira is hitting .283 with 20 home runs and 78 RBIs. The 28-year-old star is in the final year of his contract.

Atlanta acquired Teixeira last year from Texas at the trading deadline. Beset by injuries, the Braves have struggled below .500 and fallen to the fringe of the NL East race.

The Angels, meanwhile, took a 65-40 record into Tuesday night’s game at Boston. They won their only World Series title in 2002, and have spent millions more trying to win another title.

The switch-hitting Teixeira joins Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter in a lineup that combines a blend of power, timely hitting and speed.

Kotchman was hitting .287 with 12 home runs and 54 RBIs, and homered in Monday night’s win at Fenway Park. At 25, the Angels liked his future — but with Teixeira available, they looked at their future this October.