Playoff chase: Rays, Indians, Rangers separated by 1 game for AL's 2 wild-card spots

9/22/2013
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The AL wild-card race is still jumbled after the top contenders all won. In the NL Central, St. Louis is holding off the Pirates and Reds. A quick look at baseball’s playoff picture:

Indians' Nick Swisher, left, and Jason Kipnis celebrate after a 4-1 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday night in Cleveland.
Indians' Nick Swisher, left, and Jason Kipnis celebrate after a 4-1 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday night in Cleveland.

TANGLED TEAMS: Alex Cobb’s win kept Tampa Bay in the AL wild-card lead, a half-game ahead of Cleveland. Texas is another half-game behind, with the Yankees trailing the Indians by three games.

CENTRAL CASTING: The division-leading Cardinals seem content to let Pittsburgh and Cincinnati duel for the two NL wild-card spots. The Pirates are two games back, the Reds are three out. In a key matchup today at PNC Park, Jeff Locke (10-6, 3.27 ERA) starts for the Bucs against Bronson Arroyo (13-11, 3.56).

MAGIC MATH: Oakland, Atlanta and Detroit can all clinch division titles today. Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers cut their magic number to win the AL Central to two, rallying for six runs in the bottom of the ninth inning and then beating the White Sox in the 12th Saturday night. The magic number for the A’s and Braves is one.

ONE MORE LEFT: Andy Pettitte is set to make his final start at Yankee Stadium today, facing San Francisco. The 41-year-old lefty is retiring after the season — he is baseball’s top career postseason winner, and hopes to get a final chance.

REST UP: Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli and Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez were out of the starting lineup Saturday as division champs gave their stars a break before the October rush begins.