Yankees, A's clinch titles

Associated Press

It was a night of clinches in the American League.

Not only did the Minnesota Twins wrap up the AL Central Division title with a 4-1 win over Cleveland, but the New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics also won division championships.

The Yankees began Tuesday night's celebrations, clinching their sixth straight AL East title as Jason Giambi hit a grand slam in the ninth inning and Jose Contreras struck out a career-high nine in a 7-0 victory in Chicago.

Of course with the Yankees, a division title isn't all that much to get excited about.


"Enjoy it for a couple of days," captain Derek Jeter told his teammates. "But we've got three more steps to go, fellas."

At Oakland, the Athletics tied it in the ninth and beat Texas 4-3 on Adam Melhuse's RBI single in the 10th.

The A's clinched their second straight AL West title and fourth playoff trip in a row about 20 minutes later when second-place Seattle lost 2-1 in 11 innings in Anaheim.

"I hope you guys are ready for us to do something we haven't done the last couple years, and that's win a championship," pitcher Tim Hudson said. "Maybe this is the year we stumble to the finish line and win it all."

Nick Johnson and Juan Rivera hit solo homers, and Hideki Matsui drove in his team-high 106th run for the Yankees. Chicago has lost nine of its last 13 games.

Jose Contreras (7-2) allowed four hits in eight innings to beat Mark Buehrle (14-14), who gave up two runs and eight hits in seven innings.

Melhuse boosted Texas to its victory, getting the winning hit off Francisco Cordero (5-8), who blew his league-high 10th save.

Jermaine Dye had driven in the tying run for Oakland with a double in the ninth after Todd Greene's solo homer off closer Keith Foulke (9-1) in the top of the inning put Texas ahead 3-2.

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