Game 162 figured to be a wild Wednesday and it was. When the dust cleared we had the first Triple Crown winner since 1967 and the Oakland A’s completing a stunning three-game sweep of Texas to win the AL West.
The Athletics rallied from a four-run deficit to beat Texas 12-5 and complete an improbable run to the AL West division title. Meanwhile in Detroit, Miguel Cabrera became the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years with a .330 average, 44 homers and 139 RBI. Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski was the last player to win the Triple Crown.
So the playoffs are set with the New York Yankees winning the AL East, Detroit the Central and the Rangers forced into a one-game Wild Card shootout against Baltimore in Texas on Friday night.
The NL playoff picture was finalized Tuesday night when West champ San Francisco eliminated the LA Dodgers 4-3 officially clinching the second Wild Card spot for defending World Series champ St. Louis. The Cardinals will face the Braves at Atlanta in a one-game Wild Card shootout Friday. Washington won the NL East and Cincinnati took the Central.
Evan Longoria’s three home runs helped Tampa Bay beat Baltimore 4-1. The Orioles had a chance to force a one-game tiebreaker game with the Yankees for the AL East title, but the loss coupled with New York’s resounding 14-2 victory over Baltimore made that scenario a moot point.
The winner of the Orioles-Rangers game will host a best-of-5 division series against the Yankees. Oakland and the Tigers will clash in the other best of 5 Saturday in Detroit. In the NL, Washington will open its best of 5 series at the winner of St. Louis/Atlanta and Cincinnati goes to San Francisco.
Washington, Cincinnati, the Yankees and Oakland have home field advantage in their respective best of 5 series with each hosting the final three games if necessary in the 2-3 format.
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