Oakland Athletics overpowers Seattle Mariners on Monday night
Shortly after learning that they'd clinched their first playoff spot since 2014, the Oakland Athletics went out and overpowered the Seattle Mariners 7-3 on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series in Seattle.
The clincher for the A's came when the New York Yankees (96-60) defeated the Tampa Bay Rays (87-69) 4-1, formally knocking the Rays out of contention for the second wild-card spot in the American League.
The Yankees finish with three more games at Tampa Bay and then three at Boston. The A's, meanwhile, has two remaining games at Seattle before wrapping up the regular season with three at the Los Angeles Angels.
The A's used four home runs to turn back the Mariners in the series opener, with Matt Chapman connecting on the most important with a tiebreaking, two-run shot off Shawn Armstrong (0-1) in the seventh inning. It was Chapman's 24th homer of the season.
The A's added two insurance runs in the eighth on Matt Olson's RBI single and Marcus Semien's sacrifice fly.
Ryan Buchter (5-0), who relieved A's starter Daniel Mengden in the sixth inning, was credited with the win after pitching two-thirds of an inning, allowing one hit.
Robinson Cano opened the game's scoring with a solo homer, his 10th of the season, in the first inning, before Dee Gordon drew the Mariners even at 3-3 in the sixth with a two-run shot after Mike Zunino had doubled.
The homer was Gordon's fourth of the year.
Mengden was pulled after 5 1/3 innings, having allowed three runs and four hits. He walked one and struck out five.