Cole Hamels threw seven shutout innings as the Texas Rangers defeated the Oakland Athletics 3-0 and clinched the American League West Division crown on Friday. Adrian Beltre also blasted a two-run homer for the Rangers who won the West for the second straight year and for the fourth time in the past seven Major League Baseball seasons. Texas reached the World Series in back to back years in 2011 and 2010 but lost both times.
On Thursday, Jayson Stark wrote about the wild-card tiebreaker scenarios in the American League. Unfortunately, he didn't include a plan for a six-way tie ... because no plan exists! But it could happen and here's how, with each team's record entering Friday's action, their remaining schedule and their wins and losses the rest of the way: NYY -- Loss NYY -- Loss NYY -- Win NYY -- Loss BAL -- Win BAL -- Loss BAL -- Loss @BOS -- Win @BOS -- Loss @BOS -- Loss Rest of way: 3-7 Final record: 86-76 KC -- Loss KC -- Win KC -- Loss CLE -- Loss CLE -- Win CLE -- Loss CLE -- Loss @ATL -- Win @ATL -- Loss @ATL -- Win Rest of way: 4-6 Final record: 86-76 ARI -- Win ARI -- Win ARI -- Loss @TOR -- Loss @TOR
A’s Sonny Gray on track to pitch in final week Sonny Gray threw to hitters before Saturday’s game and it appears as though the 2015 All-Star will get into a game during the final week of the season. “I threw everything I had and wasn’t holding back,” said Gray, who has been on the DL since early August with inflammation in his right forearm and elbow. Manager Bob Melvin said the team will see how Gray is feeling Sunday before making a decision on when he will pitch next and whether he will start a game and throw just a few innings or, much less likely, pitch a few innings in relief. “If he feels good tomorrow, we’ll fit him in somewhere,” Melvin said, noting that Gray’s typical routine suggests he would start. Gray said that he doesn’t feel as if he needs to take the mound for the A’s for peace of mind going into the winter, it’s simply the next step of rehab and he has reached it. “You work hard to get back, just because the season is coming to an end doesn’t mean that if the next step is pitching in a game you don’t pitch in a game,” he said. Maybe not (from a mental standpoint) for him, because he feels like he’s sound and he’s good, but I think it goes a little ways to get out there on the mound and get out there on the mound, go home and then get ready for spring training next year. “He threw me a couple of sliders with good bite, good spots,” Olson said. Susan Slusser is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. For A.J. Griffin,, clinching the AL West at the Coliseum was extra sweet; he doesn’t mind sticking it to the A’s, who released him. “Of course, why do you think I signed with Texas?” Griffin said, adding with a grin, I guess it’s fitting - I’ve clinched here three times.