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Tigers clinch AL Central, plus MLB playoff race roundup

KANSAS CITY MO - OCTOBER 1:  Miguel Cabrer#24 Detroit Tigers hits home run against Kansas City Royals sixth inning

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 1: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers hits a home run against the Kansas City Royals in the sixth inning at Kauffman Stadium on October 1, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

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Miguel Cabrera hit his 44th home run and Gerald Laird a three-run double in a five-run sixth inning that carried the visiting Detroit Tigers to a 6-3 victory Monday against the Kansas City Royals and their second consecutive American League Central title.

The result left the Tigers with an insurmountable three-game lead over the White Sox with only two games left in the regular season.

Cabrera went 4-for-5, and his homer gave him the lead in all three Triple Crown categories in the AL (.329 average, 44 homers and 137 RBI). The last player to win the Triple Crown was Carl
Yastrzemski, who accomplished the feat in 1967.

Yanks lead AL East by one

The host New York Yankees hit four homers in a nine-run second inning and moved into sole possession of first place in the AL East with a 10-2 rout of the Boston
Red Sox. The Yankees lead the division by one game over the Baltimore Orioles, who lost to the Tampa Bay Rays, with two games left.

Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Russell Martin and Mark Teixeira homered for the Yankees. Teixeira had missed the Yankees’ last 19 games with a strained muscle in his left calf.

† Chris Gimenez highlighted a three-run seventh inning with a two-run double to fuel the Rays past the visiting Orioles 5-3. All three runs in the inning were unearned
because of an error by third baseman Manny Machado.

Matt Wieters and Chris Davis homered for the Orioles, who scored twice in the ninth and put the tying runs on base before Fernando Rodney got the last three outs for his 47th save.

Nationals clinch NL East

Despite their 2-0 loss to the visiting Philadelphia Phil-
lies, the Washington Nationals clinched the National League East — their first
division title since moving from Montreal in 2005 — when the host Pittsburgh Pirates edged the Atlanta Braves 2-1. The Braves will be one of the NL’s two wild cards.

Cards close on NL wild card

The host St. Louis Cardinals spoiled Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker’s
return from an 11-game absence caused by a mini-stroke with a 4-2 victory that reduced their magic number for clinching an NL wild-card spot to one.


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