Braves, A's clinch division crowns, Cards advance

The Associated Press
The Associated PressSeptember 23, 2013
Athletics beat Twins 11-7, capture AL West again
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Oakland Athletics' Eric Sogard (28) and Oakland Athletics' Coco Crisp, right, celebrate with teammates in the dugout after learning that the Texas Ranger's loss to the Kansas City Royals, making the Athletics the American League West Division champions, during the third inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Beck Diefenbach)

The Atlanta Braves, Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals can start planning for the playoffs.

All three teams clinched postseason spots Sunday. They joined Boston and the Los Angeles Dodgers with guaranteed dates for October.

The Braves won their first NL East crown since 2005 and the Athletics took their second straight AL West title. The Cardinals are still trying to win the NL Central, but are assured of at least a wild-card berth.

With a week left in the regular season, the race for the two AL wild-card spots is still tangled. Tampa Bay is a half-game ahead of Cleveland, with Texas 1 1/2 games behind the Indians.

Kansas City, the New York and Baltimore are lagging farther behind. In the NL, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are tied for the wild-card slots.