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Athletics vs. Mariners: Oakland completes sweep in dramatic fashion

The A's once again proved that being homer-happy is a very good thing. Another dramatic win at the Coliseum brought Oakland's magic number down to 2.

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Athletics closing in on playoff birth

The Oakland Athletics are closing in on a playoff birth. With just three games remaining on the schedule, the A's sit two games back of the Texas Rangers in the American League West. Their elimination number is down to two. Oakland currently is in second place in the AL wild card standings, trailing the Orioles and Yankees by one game for the No. 1 wild card seed. The Athletics currently hold a three-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels.

As the As welcome in the Rangers this week, one loss would eliminate them from the AL West. At the same time, a sweep would give them the division crown. If they win any of the three games, they clinch a playoff birth and eliminate the Angels from the wild card chase.

Here is a complete look at the wild card standings. The top two teams make the postseason.

American League Wild Card Standings

New York 92 67 .578 0 Won 1
Oakland 91 68 .572 1 Won 2
Tampa Bay 88 71 .553 4 Lost 2
Los Angeles 88 71 .553 4 Lost 1
Chicago 83 76 .522 9 Lost 2
Seattle 73 86 .459 19 Lost 3
Kansas City 71 88 .446 21 Lost 1
Toronto 70 89 .440 22 Lost 1
Boston 69 90 .433 23 Lost 5
Cleveland 67 92 .421 25 Won 1
Minnesota 66 93 .415 26 Lost 2

(updated 9.30.2012 at 7:28 PM MST)


A's mash taters in huge win

The Oakland Athletics were held to just three hits by starter Erasmo Ramirez after taking an early lead against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, but were able to get a pair of dramatic late home runs in a 5-2 win. The A's retain their hold on the second Wild Card spot and completed a three-game sweep of the Mariners at the Coliseum.

Yoenis Cespedes hit an RBI triple in the top of the first inning and came in to score on a sacrifice fly from Brandon Moss as the A's took a 2-0 lead. Ramirez held the Oakland batters down after that, as Kyle Seager and Justin Smoak each hit RBI singles in the third inning to tie the game up.

Oakland finally got to the Mariners bullpen and took the lead in the bottom of the eighth, when Cespedes hit a home run to put Oakland on top 3-2 and Josh Reddick blasted his 32nd home run of the year; a two-run shot that just hooked around the right field foul pole.

Oakland will retain a minimum two-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels for the second Wild Card position heading into the last series of the regular season. The A's magic number is now at 2.


Tommy Milone eyes series sweep for Athletics

After taking the first two games of the series handedly against the Seattle Mariners, the Oakland Athletics will go for the series sweep on Sunday at the O.Co Coliseum as they continue towards locking up a playoff berth for the first time since 2006.

The A's will turn to Tommy Milone (13-10, 3.74 ERA), who owns a 4-1 record with a 2.70 ERA over his pervious seven starts. He allowed two unearned runs on six hits in six innings of work on Tuesday during the A's 3-2, 10-inning win against Texas. Milone gave up two runs and tied a career-best with 10 strikeouts in six innings pitched during a 4-2 win at Seattle on Sept. 9. He is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in his last three starts against the Mariners.

Seattle will counter with rookie Erasmo Ramirez (1-3, 3.42). He gave up five runs on seven hits in six innings of work during Tuesday's 5-4 loss against the Angels, though was 1-0 with 2.40 ERA in his previous two starts combined. Ramirez was solid in his only outing against the A's, allowing one run, three hits and a career-high 10 strikeouts en route to a 1-0 loss back on June 25.

The A's currently own a wild card spot in the American League, but are just 2.5 games back of the Rangers for first place in the AL West. They'll host Texas for a three-game series in Oakland starting Monday.

First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN California and KNBR 680 AM.


Straily takes the hill for A's against Mariners

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Brandon McCarthy cleared to resume throwing

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A's hold steady in Wild Card standings

The Oakland Athletics opened up their three-game series against the Seattle Mariners on Friday night and held their ground in the Wild Card race with a dominating 8-2 win.

Coco Crisp led off the bottom of the first with a home run to give the A's an early lead. Trayvon Robinson answered back with a solo homer of his own in the top of the second to tie things up.

Oakland went back ahead in the bottom of the third with -- what else -- yet another home run, this time a two-run shot from Stephen Drew. Brandon Moss added an RBI groundout in the bottom of the fifth to make it 4-1 Athletics.

Michael Saunders led off the top of the seventh with a home run that made it 4-2 Oakland. The A's were able to get that run back in the bottom of the seventh when Stephen Pryor issued a bases-loaded walk to Yoenis Cespedes. Another run came home on a fielding error by Dustin Ackley and Josh Donaldson drove in a pair of runs with a single to make it 8-2 A's and firmly put the game out of reach.

Starting pitcher A.J. Griffin lasted 5.1 innings, giving up just one run on four hits and two walks. Griffin picked up the win to improve to 7-1 this season.

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