FLIPPING: If the NL East race ends in a tie between the Pirates and Mets, a one-game playoff for the title will be Oct. 4 in Pittsburgh.

The Pirates gained the right to host the game by winning a conference call coin flip yesterday between general managers, Larry Doughty of Pittsburgh and Frank Cashen of the Mets.

If a tiebreaker is needed, the opening game of the league championship series would be moved back a day, to Oct. 5, starting in the home of the NL West winner.

BLACK AND BLUE: Left-hander Bud Black (11-10, 3.53 ERA) was thrust into a pennant race last night when the Indians traded him to the Blue Jays for minor league right-hander Mauro Gozzo and two players to be named.

Black can become a free agent after the season. Because the trade took place after Aug. 31, he will not be able to participate in the playoffs, if Toronto qualifies.

"It's exciting. For the next 2 1/2 weeks I'm going to be part of a pennant race," Black said. "That's something I look forward to."

MOVES: Padres outfielder Tony Gwynn will miss the rest of the season because of a dislocated right index finger. He ran into the outfield wall in the third inning Saturday night in Atlanta. He will have the finger popped back into place today.

Gwynn finished the season hitting .309 with four home runs and 72 RBI. . . . Braves right-hander Pete Smith, on the disabled list since June, will undergo arthroscopic surgery to repair a partial tear of the right rotator cuff. . . . The Giants activated pitcher Rick Reuschel. He injured a knee May 27 start at Pittsburgh and had arthroscopic surgery July 9. . . . The Royals purchased the contracts of 1B Jeff Conine, C Brent Mayne and 3B Sean Berry from Memphis of the Class AA Southern League. . . . The Twins placed LHP David West on the 60-day emergency disabled list, retroactive to Sept. 7, because of a hamstring pull.

TOP PICKS: The Blue Jays' Kelly Gruber, who batted .464 and drove in 14 runs, was named AL player of the week. The Reds' Bill Doran (.588) is the NL choice.