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Oakland Athletics win the AL West in amazing fashion

The A's have capped off one of the greatest comebacks in baseball history, coming back from 13 games down to win the American League West on Wednesday.

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Athletics celebrate AL West title

The Oakland Athletics did not spend a single day this season in first place until today, when they dominated the Texas Rangers, 12-5, at the Oakland Coliseum to take the AL West Crown. And boy, are they celebrating in the East Bay this afternoon.

Manager Bob Melvin got stopped for an interview just minutes after the game and was almost without words, making sure to give General Manager Billy Beane a big hug before taking questions. Melvin notes how unselfish the team was, and how important the fans are to them.

Derek Norris, who went 2-3 with a solo home run in the eighth inning, gets interviewed after a champagne bath in the Athletics clubhouse:

Coco Crisp, who caught the last out of the game and went 2-4 with 2 RBI, also gets stopped on the field for an interview with his daughter.

You can also check out this photo gallery from CSN to view more of the festivities.

Only two other teams have spent a single day in sole possession of first, and go on to win a division or pennant in Major League history: the 2006 Minnesota Twins and the 1951 New York Giants, they of Bobby Thompson's now-famous "Shot Heard Round the World."

Congratulations to Bob Melvin, Billy Beane and all the Athletics on their amazing season.


The Oakland A's are AL West champions

The Oakland Athletics won the American League West, beating the Texas Rangers, 12-5. The A's capped off a comeback from 13 games down to win the division.


Texas chases A.J. Griffin, Rangers up 5-1

The Oakland Athletics are trailing the Texas Rangers 5-1, as A.J. Griffin was pulled after two-and-two-thirds innings of work.


A's, Rangers lineups for game 162

The Oakland A's and Texas Rangers have one game left to decide who wins the AL West title on Wednesday as the Green and Gold look to complete their improbable season with a division title for the first time since 2006.

A's skipper Bob Melvin will keep the first three players the same from yesterday, though Brandon Moss will move up three spots to bat cleanup on Wednesday. George Kottaras will be behind the dish to catch A.J. Griffin this afternoon in the place of Derek Norris.

Oakland Athletics:

  1. Coco Crisp (S) CF
  2. Stephen Drew (L) SS
  3. Yoenis Cespedes (R) LF
  4. Brandon Moss (L) 1B
  5. Josh Reddick (L) RF
  6. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B
  7. Seth Smith (L) DH
  8. George Kottaras (L) C
  9. Cliff Pennington (S) 2B
Texas Rangers:

  1. Ian Kinsler (R) 2B
  2. Elvis Andrus (R) SS
  3. Josh Hamilton (L) CF
  4. Adrian Beltre (R) DH
  5. Nelson Cruz (R) RF
  6. Michael Young (R) 3B
  7. David Murphy (L) LF
  8. Mike Napoli (R) 1B
  9. Geovany Soto (R) C
First pitch is set for 12:35 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN California, MLB Network, and 95.7 The Game FM.

Are the 2012 A's the 2010 Giants doppelganger?

Some striking homogeneity between these two Bay Area ball clubs.


A's, Rangers tussle for AL West title

After a season-long grind filled with twists and turns, the Oakland Athletics have one game left with the Texas Rangers in the regular season to decide the American League West title at the Coliseum on Wednesday afternoon.

The A's have already set a record for the most rookie starts this season, and they'll have one more when A.J. Griffin (7-1, 2.71 ERA) makes his final start of the year. Oakland has won 10 of his last 12 outings. The right-hander gave up one run over 5⅔ innings of work on Friday during the A's 8-2 victory over Seattle. Griffin was solid in his only meeting with Texas, allowing just two hits and two walks over six scoreless innings en route to a 4-3 road loss on June 29.

Texas will counter with Ryan Dempster (7-3, 4.64), who has the sixth-best road ERA in the league this season at 2.78. He gave up four earned runs in 5⅔ innings against the Angels in his last outing, taking just his third loss this year. Dempster's only had one career start in Oakland, allowing two runs in 6⅔ innings of a 6-2 victory while with the Cubs back in June of 2010.

This will be the first time since 2002 the AL West has sent two teams to the postseason.

First pitch is set for 12:35 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN California, MLB Network, and 95.7 The Game FM.


A's and Rangers still tied on final day

The Oakland A's are tied with the Texas Rangers as the two teams face off for the division title on Tuesday afternoon. Both teams still have a shot at the best record in the American League and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, as they are one game behind the New York Yankees and tied with the Baltimore Orioles.

The loser of the A's and Rangers season finale will play in a one-game playoff on Friday against either Baltimore or New York for the chance to advance to the division series. The Orioles face the Rays and the Yankees play the Red Sox on Tuesday. If New York wins, they clinch the AL East and home field advantage.

The Giants have no scenarios in their last game, as they clinched the division long ago and are locked in to the third seed in the National League playoffs. San Francisco is still waiting to see who they will face in the postseason, as the Reds and Nationals come into the last day tied for the best record.

For complete standings, head to S.I.'s MLB standings page.


Brett Anderson's oblique is still sore

Oakland A's pitcher Brett Anderson says he still has a tender oblique after throwing around today.


Yoenis Cespedes named AL rookie of month

Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics was named the American League rookie of the month.


The A's are playoff-bound

The Oakland Athletics opened the final series of the regular season exactly how they wanted to. They defeated the first-place Texas Rangers by a final score of 4-3 to clinch a postseason berth. Should the A's win the next two games and sweep the series, they will win the American League West outright.

The A's scored two quick runs in the bottom of the first, as Josh Reddick hit an RBI single and Chris Carter scored on a balk. Texas showed plenty of fight throughout the game, however. Elvis Andrus hit a single to drive in a run in the third inning to cut the Oakland lead in half and Michael Young homered to tie the game at 2-2 in the fourth.

Behind Jarrod Parker, the A's had another rally left in them. In the bottom of the fifth, Coco Crisp hit an RBI double and Brandon Moss made it 4-2 with a sacrifice fly. Mike Napoli led off the seventh with a home run to cut the A's lead to one run, but the pitching held things down. Grant Balfour pitched a perfect ninth for the save to clinch the Oakland postseason berth.

Parker gave up three runs on six hits and two walks in six-plus innings of work, striking out six along the way. He finishes his season with a 13-8 record.


Athletics control their own destiny

The Oakland A's just need one win in their final three games to get their official invite to the 2012 postseason dance.

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