O's, Yanks, Rangers clinch; Tigers, A's on verge
Here's how the pennant races look with three days to go:
- TRIPLE CLINCH: Mike Napoli homered twice and drove in six runs as the Texas Rangers assured playoff berths for themselves, the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees with an 8-7 victory over the Los Angeles Angels that earned a doubleheader split. Napoli's second homer in the nightcap was a go-ahead three-run shot in the third.
Two-time defending AL champion Texas (93-66) can be no worse than a wild card. The same is true for the Orioles and Yankees (both 92-67), who are tied for the AL East lead.
- ON THE BRINK: The Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics both can wind up no worse than in tiebreaker games for postseason berths. Prince Fielder hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to lift Detroit over the Minnesota Twins 2-1, moving the Tigers to a season-high three games over the second-place Chicago White Sox in the AL Central with three games to play. Yoenis Cespedes hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning as the A's beat Seattle 5-2, opening a three-game lead over the Angels for the AL's second wild-card spot.
- NEXT UP: Detroit, seeking consecutive postseason appearances for the first time since 1934-35, would clinch the AL Central with a win at Kansas City on Monday or a White Sox loss at Cleveland. Oakland would clinch a wild card with a win at home against Texas or an Angels' loss at Seattle. Texas would clinch the AL West if it beats the A's. In the NL, St. Louis would clinch a wild-card berth with a victory at home against NL Central champion Cincinnati and a loss by the Los Angeles Dodgers at NL West champ San Francisco. Washington would clinch the NL East with a win at Philadelphia or a loss by Atlanta at Pittsburgh. The Braves already are assured of at least a wild-card berth.
- BYE, BYE BREWERS: After reaching the NL championship series last year, the Milwaukee Brewers were eliminated from postseason contention with a 7-0 loss at Houston, which has the worst record in the major leagues at 56-106.
- BATTING CHASE: Trying to become the first Triple Crown winner since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, Detroit's Miguel Cabrera went 0 for 3 Sunday, but still leads the AL with a .325 batting average, just ahead of Minnesota's Joe Mauer (.323) and the Angels' Mike Trout (.321). Cabrera is tied with Texas slugger Josh Hamilton for the AL home run lead with 43, one ahead of Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion and two in front of Chicago's Adam Dunn. Cabrera leads with 136 RBIs, nine ahead of Hamilton. In the NL, San Francisco's Buster Posey leads the batting race with a .337 average, eight points ahead of Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen. San Francisco's Melky Cabrera, serving a 50-game drug suspension, has a .346 average but will fall one plate appearance short of qualifying under an agreement between Major League Baseball and the players' association that he requested.
- CHASE CHATTER: "There are steps to it. One is assuring yourself of getting a chair at the dance. And then we'd like to figure out a way to play some games at our park in front of our fans. It's in our court." -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter after Baltimore clinched a postseason berth.
- IF THE POSTSEASON STARTED TODAY:
AL wild-card playoff: Oakland at Baltimore/N.Y. Yankees AL East tiebreaker loser
NL wild-card playoff: St. Louis at Atlanta
AL division series: Texas vs. wild-card winner; Detroit vs. Baltimore/N.Y. Yankees AL East tiebreaker winner
NL division series: Washington vs. St. Louis-Atlanta winner; Cincinnati vs. San Francisco
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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