Athletics 12, Rangers 5
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — 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 on Wednesday.
Josh Hamilton dropped a fly ball in center field for a two-run error that put the A’s (94-68) ahead 7-5 in a six-run fourth inning.
While Hamilton’s Rangers (93-69) are headed to the new one-game, wild-card playoff, the A’s get some time off before opening the division series in their first postseason appearance since 2006.
The A’s needed a sweep Texas 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.
Oakland’s Coco Crisp hit a tying two-run double in the fourth against Derek Holland (12-7). Brandon Moss drove in three runs, including a two-run single in a four-run eighth.
Rookie Evan Scribner (2-0) allowed two hits and struck out two in three scoreless innings after replacing struggling starter A.J. Griffin.
Derek Norris homered leading off the eighth with his seventh homer and Oakland’s major league-leading 112th since the All-Star break.
Mariners 12, Angels 0
SEATTLE (AP) — Casper Wells tied a career-high with five RBIs including a three-run homer in Seattle’s six-run seventh inning, and the Mariners closed out the 2012 season with a 12-0 rout of the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday.
Angels’ star rookie Mike Trout went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double leading off the sixth and a single in the eighth to finish the season with a .326 average. That was good for second in the AL batting race, but pretty much locked up the Triple Crown for Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera.
Angels’ starter Jered Weaver pitched just one inning before leaving the game. Weaver (20-5) had a chance to become the fourth pitcher in Angels’ history to reach 21 wins, but called it a season early after giving up two runs, two hits and walking two batters in the first inning. The team said Weaver had “general fatigue” as the reason he threw just one inning.
Blue Jays 2, Twins 1
TORONTO (AP) — Brandon Morrow struck out a season-high 11, Omar Vizquel wrapped up his 24-year career and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Minnesota Twins 2-1 on Wednesday night to complete a three-game sweep.
Morrow (10-7) allowed one run and three hits in eight innings, his longest outing since a complete game victory at Chicago on June 6. Toronto’s staff leader in wins, the right-hander reached double digits in victories for the third straight season.
Brandon Lyon finished the ninth for his first save as the Blue Jays avoided 90 losses, finishing at 73-89. They finished at .500 last season.
Mike McCoy replaced Vizquel with two outs in the ninth and the veteran infielder left to a standing ovation, hugging his teammates, doffing his cap and tapping his heart to show his appreciation.
White Sox 9, Indians 0
CLEVELAND (AP) — Dan Johnson hit his first three homers of the season and Chicago added two more in the game as the White Sox routed the Cleveland Indians 9-0 on Wednesday night.
Gavin Floyd (12-11) gave up three hits over seven innings. He struck out six, one short of getting 145 strikeouts for the fifth straight season despite being on the disabled list twice this year.
Johnson hit two two-run homers off David Huff (3-1). His 424-foot shot in the second inning was his first in more than a year. His second made it 7-0 in the fifth, two batters after Paul Konerko hit his 26th of the season.
Yankees 14, Red Sox 2
NEW YORK (AP) — Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson each hit a pair of homers, powering the New York Yankees past the Boston Red Sox 14-2 on a raucous Wednesday night in the Bronx for their 13th AL East title in 17 years.
In front of 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. The championship was locked up by the seventh inning, when Baltimore’s 4-1 loss at Tampa bay went final.
Cano tied a career high with six RBIs 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
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Evan Longoria hit three home runs and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Baltimore 4-1 Wednesday, ending the Orioles’ bid to force a one-game tiebreaker for the AL East title.
The loss on the final day of the regular season left the Orioles as a wild-card team. They’ll play Friday at Texas, with the winner advancing to the division series.
Baltimore began the day one game behind the New York Yankees in the division. The Orioles needed a win, plus a loss by the Yankees to Boston, to pull even.
Longoria finished the season with a bang for the second straight year, hitting solo shots off Chris Tillman in the first and fourth innings and adding another solo shot off Jake Arrieta in the sixth.
With a chance to tie the major league record of four homers in a game, Longoria grounded out in the eighth.
Tigers 1, Royals 0
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Miguel Cabrera became the first player in 45 years to achieve the Triple Crown in the AL Central-champion Detroit Tigers’ 1-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night.
Cabrera went 0 for 2 with a strikeout, then left in the fourth inning of the regular-season finale. He received a standing ovation from the opposing fans.
He finished with an American League-leading .330 average, 44 homers and 139 RBIs, becoming just the 15th player to achieve the milestone and the first since Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
Max Scherzer pitched four innings for Detroit to test his sore right shoulder ahead of the playoffs, which the Tigers will open Saturday at home against Oakland. The bullpen took over from there, with Luis Marte (1-0) picking up the win and Luke Putkonen his first career save.
Austin Jackson drove in the only run off Royals starter Luis Mendoza (8-10).
Mets 4, Marlins 2
MIAMI (AP) — Ike Davis hit his 32nd homer and Scott Hairston got his 20th Wednesday to help the New York Mets win their season finale by beating the Miami Marlins 4-2.
Jeremy Hefner (4-7), who hopes to make the Mets’ roster in 2013, closed the season with his second consecutive strong start. He allowed two runs in 7 1-3 innings.
For both teams, the game marked the end of disappointing seasons. The Mets (74-88) finished fourth in the NL East for the fourth year in a row. The Marlins (69-93), touted as contenders after an offseason spending binge, instead posted their worst record since 1999.
Miami heads into the offseason with questions about the future of manager Ozzie Guillen and president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest. Both are under contract through 2015, but owner Jeffrey Loria hasn’t ruled out changes.
Nationals 5, Phillies 1
WASHINGTON (AP) — The NL East champion Washington Nationals secured home-field advantage throughout the postseason by beating the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 Wednesday for their majors-high 98th victory, with Ryan Zimmerman homering moments after the Teddy Roosevelt mascot won the Presidents Race at Nationals Park for the first time.
By winning their regular-season finale, the Nationals clinched top seeding for the NL playoffs and will open on the road Sunday at the winner of Friday’s wild-card game between Atlanta and St. Louis. Game 2 will also be at the wild-card winner’s stadium, before the best-of-five series shifts to Washington.
Before Wednesday’s game, the Nationals were fitted for hats with postseason patches.
Braves 4, Pirates 0
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jason Heyward singled twice and scored two runs as the playoff-bound Atlanta Braves beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 in their regular-season finale on Wednesday.
Chipper Jones added a pinch-hit single in his final regular-season at-bat for Atlanta, which hosts St. Louis in the wild-card playoff on Friday.
Luis Avilan (1-0) won on a day the Braves used eight pitchers to hold Pittsburgh to four hits. Ben Sheets started and pitched one scoreless inning in his last major league appearance.
A.J. Burnett (16-10) gave up four runs in 5 2-3 innings for Pittsburgh. The Pirates finished 79-83, extending their record streak of losing seasons to 20.
Cubs 5, Pirates 4
CHICAGO (AP) — Bryan LaHair homered and hit a game-winning single in the ninth inning, and the Chicago Cubs beat Houston 5-4 Wednesday in the Astros’ National League finale.
In the first series between 100-game losers in the major leagues since 1962, LaHair homered in the second and broke a 4-all tie in the ninth against Hector Ambriz (1-0).
Houston went 55-107 and set a club record for losses with one more than last year. The Astros became the first team with 106 or more losses in consecutive seasons since the 1964-65 New York Mets.
Dodgers 5, Giants 1
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw finished with a major league-leading 2.53 ERA, Adrian Gonzalez singled in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Francisco Giants 5-1 to end their season on Wednesday, a day after being eliminated from playoff contention for the third straight year by the NL West champions.
Kershaw (14-9) allowed one run and three hits in eight innings, struck out eight and walked three in his 33rd start, tying a career high. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner recorded 229 strikeouts, one behind NL leader R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets. The left-hander became the first pitcher to lead the league in ERA in consecutive seasons since Arizona’s Randy Johnson in 2001-02.
Rockies 2, D-Backs 1
PHOENIX (AP) — Jeff Francis earned his first victory in more than a month and the Colorado Rockies used two unearned runs to beat Ian Kennedy and the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-1 on Wednesday night to conclude disappointing seasons for both teams.
Francis (6-7) allowed a run on five hits in five innings in his first victory since July 27. He had gone 0-3 in six outings since then.
Third baseman Chris Johnson’s throwing error in the fourth led to both of Colorado’s runs. D.J. LeMahieu singled in a run for the Rockies.
A.J. Pollock hit his second big-league home run for Arizona.
Kennedy (15-12) gave up no earned runs, striking out eight and walking none. He was 4-0 in his previous six starts.
Cards 1, Reds 0
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rookie right-hander Shelby Miller took a no-hitter into the sixth inning in his first career start, Matt Carpenter had a run-scoring single and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 1-0 Wednesday night.
The Cardinals, who won 12 of their final 16 regular-season games, clinched the second NL wild card spot Tuesday and will face the Braves in Atlanta on Friday.
Cincinnati, which has won four of seven, takes on NL West champion San Francisco in an NL division series beginning Saturday.
Miller gave up a two-out bloop single to Wilson Valdez in the sixth to end his no-hit bid. He struck out seven, walked two and allowed just one hit over six innings.
Reds starter Homer Bailey, who threw a no-hitter at Pittsburgh in his previous start, tossed four shutout innings on four hits. He struck out six and did not walk a batter.
Padres 7, Brewers 6
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Chase Headley drove in two runs, finishing the season with an NL-leading 115 RBIs, and the San Diego Padres beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-6 on Wednesday night.
Headley doubled home a run in the fifth inning. He hit an RBI triple in the seventh and scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Yonder Alonso.
Travis Ishikawa drove in four runs for Milwaukee, including three with a double in the third that made it 6-0.
Source: Associated Press