Miguel Cabrera had four hits, including a homer during a five-run sixth inning, and the Detroit Tigers held off the Royals, 6-3, Monday night in Kansas City, Mo., to clinch the AL Central title.
Gerald Laird added a bases-loaded double, Rick Porcello (10-12) pitched shutout ball into the sixth, and Jhonny Peralta went deep off Bruce Chen (11-14) to help Detroit reach the postseason in consecutive years for the first time since 1934-35.
After hanging over the dugout railing the entire ninth, the Tigers streamed onto the field and behind the pitcher’s mound to celebrate their accomplishment the moment Jose Valverde got Alcides Escobar to ground out to shortstop with a runner on second for his 35th save in 40 chances.
The Tigers (87-73) will have the worst record among AL division champions, which means they’ll open the playoffs Saturday at home against the division winner with the second-best mark.
Athletics 4, Rangers 3— Coco Crisp’s go-ahead RBI double helped put host Oakland back in the playoffs for the first time in six years. The Athletics moved into a tie with Baltimore for the AL’s top wild card and pulled within one game of Texas for the AL West lead. Oakland must sweep the series to win the division.
Angels 8, Mariners 4 — Mike Trout and Howie Kendrick each had four hits for visiting Los Angeles, but the Angels were ousted from playoff contention with Oakland’s victory.
White Sox 11, Indians 0 — Rookie Hector Santiago allowed just one hit in seven shutout innings and Chicago beat host Cleveland before being eliminated in the AL Central race when Detroit won.
Phillies 2, Nationals 0 — Thanks to a season of strong pitching from Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper’s burst of energy, and Adam LaRoche’s slugging, Washington won enough from April through September that a loss on the first day of October to visiting Philadelphia could not stop the Nationals from clinching the NL East.
With Atlanta losing, the Nationals earned their first division title since moving from Montreal in 2005, capping a regular season in which they were in first place since May 22.
Pirates 2, Braves 1 — Atlanta’s hopes of winning the NL East ended with a loss in Pittsburgh that clinched the division title for the Nationals. The Braves, who needed to sweep the Pirates and have first-place Washington drop three games to Philadelphia to tie for the division lead, will instead be the top wild-card team when the postseason begins Thursday.
Cardinals 4, Reds 2 — Jaime Garcia homered off Bronson Arroyo and pitched into the seventh inning, helping St. Louis clinch a tie for the second NL wild card with a victory over Cincinnati. The Reds and Nationals are tied for the league’s best record.
Dodgers 3, Giants 2— Elian Herrera singled in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the ninth, keeping Los Angeles’s wild-card hopes alive. The Dodgers’ sixth consecutive victory kept them two games behind St. Louis for the NL’s final playoff spot.
Brewers 5, Padres 3 — Carlos Gomez, Rickie Weeks, and Jonathan Lucroy hit home runs to lead host Milwaukee. Shaun Marcum gave up two runs in six innings as the Brewers clinched a winning season for the second straight year.
Astros 3, Cubs 0 — Host Chicago got its 100th loss of the season and Lucas Harrell threw six shutout innings for Houston.
Blue Jays 6, Twins 5 — Anthony Gose singled home the winning run in the 10th as host Toronto rallied to defeat Minnesota.
Marlins 3, Mets 2 — Rob Brantly hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the eighth to help host Miami beat New York.
Rockies 7, Diamondbacks 5 — Chris Nelson’s RBI single kicked off a four-run 13th for visiting Colorado.