MLB roundup: Amazing A’s win AL WestSame chaotic, champagne dance-party scene in the clubhouse just two days later. New T-shirt: AL West champions. The Oakland Athletics won the division 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 the two-time defending league champion Texas Rangers 12-5 on Wednesday.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Same chaotic, champagne dance-party scene in the clubhouse just two days later. New T-shirt: AL West champions.
The Oakland Athletics won the division 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 the two-time defending league champion Texas Rangers 12-5 on Wednesday.
“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 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. The A’s only added to Texas’ troubles the rest of the way.
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.
“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.
Tigers’ Cabrera wins 1st Triple Crown in 45 years
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Miguel Cabrera became the 15th player to win baseball’s Triple Crown on Wednesday night, the reluctant superstar thrust into the spotlight after joining an elite list that includes Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig.
Cabrera’s milestone wasn’t official until the Yankees pinch hit for Curtis Granderson in their game against the Boston Red Sox. Granderson had homered twice to reach 43 for the year, tied with the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton and one shy of Cabrera.
Cabrera went 0 for 2 against the Royals before leaving in the fourth inning to a standing ovation. He finished the regular season with a .330 average, four points better the Angels’ Mike Trout, his biggest competition for MVP. Cabrera was the runaway leader with 139 RBIs.
Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski was the last player to achieve the Triple Crown in 1967.
“I am glad that he accomplished this while leading his team to the American League Central title,” Yastrzemski said in a statement. “I was fortunate enough to win this award in 1967 as part of the Red Sox’s ‘Impossible Dream Team.’”
Cano powers Yankees to AL East title in 14-2 rout
NEW YORK — 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 on the final night of the regular season, 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 and prompted an ovation from the 47,393 in attendance. The Orioles play the Rangers in Texas in the AL Wildcard game Friday.
“Now the real season starts,” Derek Jeter said.
Cano tied a career high with six RBIs for the 95-67 Yankees.
two games ahead of Baltimore and 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.
New York led the division by 10 games on July 18 but the pesky Orioles caught up on Sept. 4 and were tied with the Yankees after 10 different days in September.
New York rode the long ball all season and the four homers in the finale set a franchise record at 245.
Hiroki Koroda (16-11) shut Boston down with an encouraging performance after struggling through much of September. He allowed two runs and seven hits over seven innings.
With New York heading into the playoffs for the first time since 1981 without career saves leader Mariano Rivera — he tore a knee ligament shagging flies in May — the rout gave the Yankees a chance to rest Rafael Soriano, who threw 43 pitches over two innings of the 12-inning, 4-3 comeback win Tuesday night.
Bobby Valentine brought the lineup card out to the umpires for what might have been the final time as manager of the Red Sox, who finished last in the AL East at 69-93 in his first season leading the club. Boston ended the year with eight straight losses, their longest skid since losing nine in a row in 2001. The Red Sox lost 26 off their last 33 games.
Granderson hit his career-best 42nd homer in the second, a three-run shot off Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-7), making his first start since Sept. 19. Cano then connected in the third for a 5-1 lead.
One batter later Matsuzaka was finished, most likely ending his six-year career with Boston. The Red Sox paid $51.1 million to win the rights to the Japanese star and gave him a $52 million contract. Matsuzaka went 33-15 in his first two years, winning a World Series in 2007. But injuries, including elbow-reconstruction surgery June 2011, marred the last four years and he finished the deal 50-37.
Cano hit his 33rd homer in the fifth, followed Alex Rodriguez’s double, A-Rod’s first extra-base hit since Sept. 14.
Granderson matched his teammate with a solo shot to right-center leading off the seventh for a 10-2 lead.
The Yankees narrowly avoided what would’ve been their biggest blown division lead in team history — they led by six games in 1933 and finished seven back of the original Washington Senators.
This summer’s skid was brought on as CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Rodriguez got hurt. The Yankees stumbled through August — often looking old and tired. But New York went 18-9 down the stretch, thanks to two stirring comeback victories led by 40-year-old Raul Ibanez, New York went 19-8 down the stretch.
NOTES: Jeter led the AL with 216 hits and finished with 99 runs. ... The Yankees won the season series against Boston 13-5, their most wins since 2001. ... There were 232 home runs at Yankee Stadium, up from 208 last year. There were four games with no homers as opposed to nine last year, seven in 2010 and just one in the first year. ... The Yankees had a home attendance of 3,542,406, their lowest in four seasons at new Yankee Stadium. Attendance was 3.72 million in 2009, climbed to 3.77 million in 2010, then dropped to 3.65 million last year. ... The Red Sox hired Eddie Bane as a special assistant, player personnel. Bane spent the last two seasons as a scout for the Detroit Tigers. He was director of scouting for the Angels from 2004-10. Among the players picked under his direction: Jered Weaver, Kendrys Morales, Mark Trumbo and Mike Trout.