The Oakland A's used some late inning heroics again on Sunday and finished off a sweep of the Seattle Mariners by a score of 5-2. The win brings the A's record to 91-68 with only three regular season games remaining.
The A's started off the series with a relatively easy 8-2 victory over the Mariners on Friday night, but needed home runs late in the game on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's game ended on a three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th by Brandon Moss. On Sunday, the game was tied at two in the bottom of the eighth before a solo homer by Yoenis Cespedes and a two run shot from Josh Reddick.
The three victories by the A's put them in great position heading into their final three games. Oakland currently sits in the second wild card spot, just one game behind the Orioles and Yankees who are tied for the AL East lead. The A's have a three game lead over both the Angels and Rays for the final wild card spot, meaning they can clinch a playoff berth with one more win.
Oakland may not have to settle for just the wild card. They only trail the Texas Rangers by two games in the AL West and will be facing the Rangers in the final three games of the season. Oakland would need to sweep the series to pass Texas and win the AL West. Winning the AL West means you get an extra day off while the two wild card teams go head to head in a one game, winner moves on play-in game.
After 159 regular season games, the A's have to be feeling really good about where they stand. They are in control of their own playoff destiny and get to play the final games at home where they have a 47-31 record. All Oakland needs for a playoff spot is to win one of the next three games, or have the Angels lose one of their next three against Seattle.
I like the A's chances in the final series with the Rangers. Game 1 is a pitching rematch from last Wednesday's contest in which Jarrod Parker pitched 6 innings and gave up 3 runs, and the Rangers' starter, Martin Perez, only recorded 2 outs and gave up 5 runs.
Oakland has a lot of momentum after sweeping the Mariners, and they have the luxury of being at home. The Rangers on the other hand are having to travel to Oakland after playing a double header on Sunday in Texas.
The A's and Rangers split an exciting four game series last week in Texas and you can be sure this regular season finale will be exciting as well.
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*Daniel became an Oakland A's fan during the Bash Brothers era of the late 1980s. He has followed the A's and Major League Baseball for over 20 years. Daniel is currently a Featured Contributor on the Yahoo! Contributor Network.
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