OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Stephen Drew #5 of the Oakland Athletics throws to second base after fielding a ground ball hit off the bat of Robert Andino #11 of the Baltimore Orioles (not pictured) during the sixth inning at O.co Coliseum on September 16, 2012 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Both the Giants and the Athletics had key victories in two important series this past weekend.
The Giants (83-63) won their first two road games against the Arizona Diamondbacks (72-74) before dropping the finale when the snakes decided to put up 10 runs. With the Los Angeles Dodgers (76-71) splitting their four games against the St. Louis Cardinals (77-70), San Fran now owns a 7.5 lead in the NL West with only 16 games left on their 2012 regular season slate.
In the American League side of the bay area, the Athletics also won their first two games of the series against the Baltimore Orioles (82-64) before falling in the third thanks to a large run total (nine). This series was even more important for Oakland though with the Orioles representing the AL's other wild card team along with the A's.
With the series victory, Oakland moves further ahead as the superior wild card, now owning a two-game lead with sixteen left to play. The Athletics also have a realistic shot at their division down only three games to the Texas Rangers (87-59) with seven more head-to-head games left to play.
As for this week, the Giants have it relatively easy with four games against the Colorado Rockies at home before the San Diego Padres come into town for a three-game weekend series. The A's, on the other hand, have the misfortune of drawing two road, three-game series against playoff contenders: the Detroit Tigers and the New York Yankees.