Friday | February 24, 2017
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Athletics claim playoff spot; eye AL West crown

OAKLAND, Calif. — Coco Crisp’s latest clutch hit helped put Oakland back in the playoffs for the first time in six years, and the Athletics beat the first-place Texas Rangers 4-3 on Monday night to remain in contention for a division crown.

Crisp had a go-ahead RBI double in the fifth as Oakland (92-68) pulled within one game of Texas (93-67) in the AL West race with two to go and moved into a tie with Baltimore for the American League’s top wild card.

Pinch-hitter Brandon Moss hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth for insurance, and Josh Reddick added an RBI single for the resurgent A’s, who must sweep this season-ending series against the two-time reigning AL champion Rangers to capture the West title.

Angels 8, Mariners 4

SEATTLE — Mike Trout had four hits and drove in three runs in Los Angeles’ victory over Seattle, but it was not enough to keep the Angels in the playoff chase.

The Angels, with a high payroll and high expectations as the season started, were eliminated from the wild-card race.

C.J. Wilson (13-10) went 6 1/3 innings for the victory. He allowed six hits and two runs, striking out seven and walking five.

Felix Hernandez (13-9), who did not win a game after Aug. 27 — going 0-4 with a 6.62 ERA — went 5 1/3 innings, allowing a season-high 12 hits and seven runs. He struck out seven and walked three.

Tigers 6, Royals 3

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Miguel Cabrera had four hits, including a homer during a five-run sixth inning, and Detroit held off Kansas City to clinch the AL Central title.

Gerald Laird added a bases-loaded double, Rick Porcello (10-12) pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning, and Jhonny Peralta went deep off Bruce Chen (11-14) to help Detroit reach the postseason in consecutive years for the first time since 1934-35.

After hanging over the dugout railing the entire ninth inning, the Tigers streamed onto the field and behind the pitchers’ mound to celebrate their accomplishment the moment Jose Valverde got Alcides Escobar to ground out to shortstop with a runner on second for his 35th save in 40 chances.

The Tigers (87-73) will have the worst record among AL division champions, which means they’ll open the playoffs Saturday at home against the division winner with the second-best mark.

Cabrera, making a run at baseball’s first Triple Crown since 1967, broke a tie with Texas slugger Josh Hamilton for the major league lead in homers with his 44th, a solo shot to right.

Prince Fielder also had four hits.


NEW YORK — Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Russell Martin and Mark Teixeira homered in a nine-run second inning, and New York routed Boston to open a one-game lead over Baltimore in the AL East with two games to play.

New York tied its record for home runs in an inning, achieving the feat for the third time. The offense backed CC Sabathia (15-6), who allowed two runs and four hits in eight innings with seven strikeouts.

Alex Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly to end a streak of 11 games without an RBI. He tied Stan Musial for fifth place on the career list at 1,950.

Boston, starting what may be its final series under first-year manager Bobby Valentine, has lost six in a row and 10 of 11, reaching 91 defeats for the first time since dropping 100 games in 1965. The Red Sox started just two regular position players, Cody Ross and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Clay Buchholz (11-8) was roughed up for a career-high eight runs and six hits — three of them homers — in 1 2/3 innings.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Alex Cobb allowed two hits over seven innings.

Ben Zobrist hit his 20th homer and Chris Giminez had a two-run double off Wei-Yin Chen (12-11) as the Rays pulled away from a 1-all tie in the seventh. Cobb (11-9) yielded a fourth-inning single to J.J. Hardy and a solo homer to Matt Wieters that tied it in the seventh.

Chris Davis homered for the fifth straight game for the Orioles, a two-run shot off Kyle Farnsworth that trimmed Baltimore’s deficit to 5-3 in the ninth.

Fernando Rodney worked out of a jam to earn his 47th save in 49 opportunities.


CLEVELAND — White Sox rookie Hector Santiago allowed one hit in seven shutout innings to beat Cleveland, but Chicago was eliminated from postseason contention when Detroit defeated Kansas City.

Santiago (4-1), who began the season as the team’s closer, struck out a season-high 10.

The Indians’ only hit off the left-hander was Shin-Soo Choo’s two-out single in the third.


TORONTO — Anthony Gose singled home the winning run in the 10th inning and Toronto rallied to beat Minnesota.

Adam Lind went 4 for 4 and Brandon Lyon (4-0) worked out of a bases-loaded jam to earn the win in front of a season-low crowd of 12,359.