MLB playoff chaser: Athletics force division decider | Baseball | CBC Sports

MLBMLB playoff chaser: Athletics force division decider

Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 | 01:13 AM

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Oakland reliever Grant Balfour celebrates as the Athletics record the final out Tuesday to set up a one-game AL West title game with the Texas Rangers. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Oakland reliever Grant Balfour celebrates as the Athletics record the final out Tuesday to set up a one-game AL West title game with the Texas Rangers. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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The Los Angeles Dodgers were eliminated from the playoffs, setting up an Atlanta-St. Louis wild card game in the National League, while Oakland has all the momentum in the AL West title race with Texas.

The 10 teams with a shot at the World Series have been set after the Los Angeles Dodgers bowed out of the race late Tuesday night.

The L.A. loss also locked in the first set matchup: defending champions St. Louis will travel to Atlanta Friday for the one-game wild card.

The winner of that contest will take on the top seed in the National League. Washington and Cincinnati both can claim that distinction after wins Tuesday, although the Nationals have the advantage and can sew it up with a win in an early Wednesday afternoon game.

In the American League, Oakland headed into the final series needing a sweep of the Texas Rangers to claim the AL West title. They are now just one game from doing just that after a two-run victory on Tuesday. The teams play mid-afternoon Eastern Time on Wednesday.

The Yankees were on the verge of falling into an AL East tie with Baltimore, but pulled out a victory in extra innings to stay in the driver's seat.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman could have brought back Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui in the offseason for bench strength and DH depth, but elected to sign Raul Ibanez. Ibanez homered in the bottom of the ninth and struck the decisive extra inning blow against the Red Sox.

With the win, New York also holds a one-game advantage in determining who will be the top seed in the American League.

Detroit is already locked in as the second seed and a home game on Saturday against an undetermined opponent, so all eyes instead were on Miguel Cabrera's Triple Crown chase.

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