Mocked before the season as a potential laughingstock, the Oakland A's enjoyed the last laugh Monday.
Oakland edged the Texas Rangers 4-3 at the Coliseum, clinching the last available AL playoff berth.
The A's trail the Rangers by one game with two head-to-head meetings remaining Tuesday and Wednesday. If Oakland can complete the series sweep, it would capture the AL West championship. If not, the A's will play a wild-card game Friday against either the New York Yankees or the Baltimore Orioles.
"We've shocked the world, and we're not done," said A's right-hander Jarrod Parker
, who got the win Monday.
Although there is still work to be done in the regular season, the A's conducted a full-scale celebration after Monday's game.
Outfielder Josh Reddick, whose RBI single put the A's on top in the first inning, socked manager Bob Melvin in the face with a whipped-cream pie.
"I didn't expect that," Melvin said. "I did turn around quickly for the Gatorade buckets, and there weren't any, so I was glad about that."
First baseman Brandon Moss, a key midseason call-up, said, "We have a great group; every single guy in the clubhouse has contributed. We have a lot of players who've been told 'No,' and when you put guys like that together, there's a lot of fight in them."
As for Oakland reaching the postseason at the expense of the free-spending Los Angeles Angels, A's outfielder Jonny Gomes said, "We wear jerseys on the field. We don't wear contracts between the lines."
- Oakland A
- Baltimore Orioles
- Jarrod Parker