wednesday's Highlights

MLB highlights: One more rally gives A's AL West

October 4, 2012 

Rangers Athletics Baseball

Oakland Manager Bob Melvin was sprayed with champagne while the A's celebrated their win over Texas, which gave them the AL West title.

BEN MARGOT — AP

Athletics 12, Rangers 5: Oakland won the AL West title with another improbable rally in a season full of them, coming back from four runs down and a 13-game division deficit to stun two-time defending league champion Texas.

"We knew this is a beast of a team we would have to beat, and to be able to beat them three games in a row and win the division on top of it, really it's a magical type thing," Manager Bob Melvin said.

Josh Hamilton misjudged a fly ball in center field for a two-run error that put the A's ahead 7-5 in a six-run fourth inning.

"You can have all the experience as you want but when you run into a team that's hot, experience has nothing to do with it," Texas Manager Ron Washington said.

The A's needed a sweep at home and they delivered to win their first division crown in six years and 15th in all. They overcame a five-game deficit in the final nine days and took sole possession of the West's top spot for the first time this year.

Yankees 14, Red Sox 2: Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson each hit two homers, powering New York to its 13th AL East title in 17 years.

In front of home fans poised to party from the first pitch, the Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the last-place Red Sox to win their second consecutive division crown.

Cano tied a career high with six RBI as New York secured home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs. The Yankees will open on the road Sunday against the winner of Friday's wild-card game between Baltimore and Texas.

Rays 4, Orioles 1: Evan Longoria hit three homers as Tampa Bay ended visiting Baltimore's bid to force a one-game tiebreaker for the AL East title. The loss left the Orioles as a wild-card team. They'll play Friday at Texas, with the winner advancing to the division series.

National League

Nationals 5, Phillies 1: NL East champion Washington secured home-field advantage throughout the postseason by beating visiting Philadelphia for its major league-high 98th victory. Nationals Manager Davey Johnson missed the end of the game after feeling numbness in his left leg, leaving the dugout to get X-rays and treatment from a team doctor. Johnson — at 69, the oldest skipper in the majors — said he does not expect to have any trouble traveling or managing in the playoffs.

Braves 4, Pirates 0: Jason Heyward singled twice and scored two runs for visiting Atlanta in the regular-season finale.Chipper Jones added a pinch-hit single in his final regular-season at-bat for Atlanta.

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