Extra Bases

Magic number shrinks

The Oakland A’s smashed the Texas Rangers, 12-3, this afternoon, slicing the Red Sox’ magic number to four. The Red Sox can cut it to three tonight as Clay Buchholz faces Anthony Lerew, and they could clinch the wild card as soon as Saturday.

Yesterday, Buchholz worried about how a nasty head cold might affect him tonight. He felt miserable, but knew he would pitch. “I’ll pitch,” he said. “It’s how I pitch, is the question.”

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