Injuries: AL | NL
  Weekly Lineup
  Message Board
  Minor Leagues
  MLB Stat Search


Sport Sections
  Saturday, Sep. 30 4:15pm ET
A's set franchise record with 23 runs

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The seemingly endless playoff possibilities are inconsequential to Jason Giambi. It's all really very simple.

Miguel Tejada
Miguel Tejada's fifth-inning grand slam accounted for a mere four of the A's team-record 23 runs.

The Oakland Athletics, with 19-game winner Tim Hudson on the mound, must beat the Texas Rangers on Sunday, he said.

"Final day. Down to one. The big gun going. You can't ask for much more than that," Giambi said.

Giambi hit his 43rd home run and Miguel Tejada had a grand slam as the AL West-leading A's beat the Texas Rangers 23-2 Saturday in the highest-scoring game in franchise history.

With nine runs in the first inning and eight in the seventh, the A's remained a half-game ahead of Seattle for the division lead. The Mariners routed Anaheim 21-9.

The Cleveland Indians kept the Athletics' champagne on ice, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 to stay alive for the wild card berth. A Cleveland loss would have assured the A's their first playoff appearance since 1992.

If the A's win on Sunday, they claim the West and host either New York or Cleveland in the division series on Tuesday. They will not have to travel Monday for a makeup game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to decide the final playoff picture.

"We just know that we have to play good baseball and not worry about the 29 possible scenarios," Giambi said. "We want to control our own destiny and that's the way we've wanted it all along."

The 23 runs Saturday were a franchise record for the A's. On June they scored 21 runs against Kansas City to match their record against Boston on June 14, 1969. The 23 runs were the most ever allowed by the Rangers.

Texas manager Johnny Oates was stunned.

"Even in batting practice we don't hit the ball that well," he said.

Barry Zito (7-4) allowed one run on five hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out seven. Zito is now 5-1 in six September starts.

The playoff situation
With the Indians, Mariners and A's all winning Saturday, here are Sunday's scenarios:

Current records:
Oakland, 90-70
Seattle, 90-71
Cleveland, 89-72

  • If Cleveland loses, Indians are eliminated. Seattle and Oakland are in. Seattle wins AL West with a win on Sunday and Oakland losses on Sunday and Monday.

  • If Cleveland wins, Seattle wins and Oakland loses Sunday and Monday, Seattle is AL West champion and there is wild-card tiebreaker game Tuesday in Oakland.

  • If Cleveland wins, Seattle wins and Oakland wins Sunday or Monday, Indians are eliminated. Oakland wins AL West and Seattle is the wild card.

  • If Cleveland wins, Seattle loses and Oakland wins Sunday, Oakland is AL West champion and there is a wild-card tiebreaker game Monday in Seattle.

  • If Cleveland wins, Seattle loses and Oakland loses Sunday and Monday, Cleveland is the wild card and there is an AL West tiebreaker game Tuesday in Seattle.

    Sunday's probable pitchers:
    Tor. (Wells 20-7) at Cle. (Woodard (2-3)
    Tex. (Glynn 5-6) at Oak. (Hudson 19-6)
    Sea. (Sele 17-10) at Ana. (Schoeneweis 7-10)

  • With the A's ahead 10-1 in the fifth inning, Terrence Long and Randy Velarde both singled before Giambi's RBI single. Olmedo Saenz walked and Tejada hit the second grand slam of his career. The A's have a major league-record 14 grand slams. Atlanta had 12 in 1997 and Cleveland matched that last season. When Giambi hit his solo shot over the center field wall in the third inning, the Coliseum crowd chanted "MVP! MVP!" It was his fifth homer in seven games.

    Giambi, who finished 3-for-3 with three RBI, has 13 home runs and 32 RBI in September, prompting manager Art Howe to wage a spirited AL MVP campaign for the star first baseman.

    "What more can you do?" Howe asked after the game.

    The 13 homers are the most in a month for an Oakland player since Mark McGwire did it in July, 1996.

    "I'm just trying to get us to the promised land," Giambi said.

    Giambi got it going for the A's in the first inning with an RBI single scoring Long, who led off with a single.

    Saenz added an RBI single, Tejada's grounder scored a run and Texas reliever Brian Sikorski walked in another before Long -- up for the second time in the inning -- hit a three-run double.

    Velarde, who hit the go-ahead single in the A's 7-5 win over Texas on Friday, followed with a two-run home run over the left field fence to put the A's up 9-0.

    Texas starter Darren Oliver (2-9) lasted just 2/3 of an inning, allowing six runs on five hits with one walk.

    Oliver, who struggled with shoulder weakness all season, has not won a start since May 31 at Detroit.

    The Rangers scored in the second inning on Mike Lamb's RBI single.

    "Custer must have felt like this," Oates said. "I'm not angry. I'm embarrassed. When it gets to be that much you just kind of sit there."

    The A's added eight in the seventh inning. Sal Fasano hit a two-run single, Frank Menechino hit a two-run double, Jose Ortiz added an RBI single and Ryan Christenson hit a three-run home run.

    "How bad is this?" asked Texas catcher Randy Knorr. "I've never been in a game like this before. It was like they were in a zone or something."

    Game notes
    A's outfielder Ben Grieve was back in the lineup Saturday after taking Friday off because of neck pain. ... The Rangers are just the fourth team in history to win a division title one year and finish last in the division the next. ... Zito was originally drafted by the Rangers in the third round of the 1998 draft. ... A's third baseman Eric Chavez left the game in the second inning because of an aggravated right shoulder. ... The A's said that Gil Heredia (15-11) will face Cory Lidle (4-6) should a make-up game be necessary on Monday against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Sept. 17 game was postponed by Hurricane Gordon.


    Baseball Scoreboard

    Texas Clubhouse

    Oakland Clubhouse

    Cleveland 6
    Toronto 5

    Seattle 21
    Anaheim 9

    Oakland 23
    Texas 2

    Boston 4
    Tampa Bay 2

    Detroit 6
    Minnesota 5

    Baltimore 9
    NY Yankees 1

    Chi. White Sox 9
    Kansas City 1

    NY Mets 4
    Montreal 2

    Cincinnati 8
    St. Louis 4

    Florida 11
    Philadelphia 5

    Pittsburgh 4
    Chicago Cubs 2

    Atlanta 5
    Colorado 2

    Houston 7
    Milwaukee 6

    Arizona 5
    San Francisco 1

    Los Angeles 10
    San Diego 2

     Art Howe says the A's needed some offense on Saturday.
    wav: 179 k
    RealAudio: 14.4 | 28.8 | 56.6

     Jason Giambi knows Oakland controls its future.
    wav: 116 k
    RealAudio: 14.4 | 28.8 | 56.6