A's focused on clinching division

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland A's hold a three-game lead over the Anaheim Angels in the division race and plan to maintain the same focus as they make their final push toward the postseason.

Oakland can do no worse than the AL wild-card berth. But it would rather win the A.L. West and the team's magic number for clinching the division is three. The A's close with three games at Seattle and three at Texas.

Lose the division title, and Oakland would head straight from Arlington, Texas, this weekend to New York to play the five-time defending AL East champion Yankees in the first round of the playoffs. If the A's win the title they would host the Minnesota Twins, starting on Oct. 1.

Seattle, which has said it wants to spoil things for teams that will be in the playoffs, helped the A's by beating the Angels twice over the weekend.

The Angels finish with three at Texas and three at home against the Mariners.


Baseball roundup, Page 7C

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