A.L. races go down to the wire
The American League East and West Division pennant races will go down to the final day.
Raul Ibanez tied it with a pinch-hit homer in the ninth inning, then had an RBI single in the 12th, helping the Yankees remain a game up on Baltimore in the A.L. East with one game to go by beating the visiting Boston Red Sox 4-3 on Tuesday night.
With a second comeback spurred by Ibanez in the last 10 days, the Yankees need a win or Orioles loss on the final day of the season to secure their 13th division title since 1996. The Orioles beat Tampa Bay 1-0 earlier.
If the teams end up even after today’s games, they’ll play a tiebreaker Thursday in Baltimore.
Ibanez came up with two outs in the 12th after Francisco Cervelli walked in his first plate appearance of the year and Granderson drew a walk from Andrew Miller (3-2).
Ibanez hit a grounder out of the reach of shortstop Jose Iglesias and Cervelli flopped into home plate. The Yankees ran out to first base to mob Ibanez, who had a tying two-run homer against Oakland in the 13th inning on Sept. 22.
Travis Blackley allowed one run over six innings in a strong bounce-back performance that helped the Oakland Athletics move into a first-place tie in the A.L. West with Texas after a 3-1 victory and set up a one-game showdown for the division title.
A night after holding a raucous celebration after clinching their first playoff berth since 2006, the A’s erased the last piece of what had been a 13-game deficit in the division race on June 30 to take a share of first place for the first time since March 29.
Blackley (6-4) gave up three hits and struck out five a week after the Rangers knocked him out with a five-run first inning in the shortest start of his career.
Clearing the bases
Adam Greenberg struck out on three pitches when he batted for the first time in seven years after the Miami Marlins gave him a second chance. Greenberg signed a one-day contract before the game and stepped to the plate as a pinch-hitter leading off the sixth inning against New York Mets 20-game winner R.A. Dickey … Chicago White Sox slugger Paul Konerko said he will have surgery on his left wrist Thursday. Konerko is batting .299 with 25 homers and 73 RBIs in 143 games … Los Angeles Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson will have elbow surgery after the regular season to remove bone spurs … A day after clinching the NL East, Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson rested most of his regular lineup – and saved left-hander Gio Gonzalez for Game 1 of the playoffs.
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