After setting a team record with 95 wins, the Texas Rangers have loftier goals.
"These are things you like to grasp on the way to the bigger prize at the end," Rangers Manager Johnny Oates said after yesterday's 7-0 win against the Seattle Mariners in Arlington, Tex. "This is the best club I've had in my nine years as a manager. When I came here I knew the team record for wins was 94, and I wanted to surpass it."
John Burkett combined with three relievers on a four-hitter as the AL West champions (95-64) topped the previous team record for wins, set in 1977 when the Rangers were 94-68.
Fighting for home-field advantage in the postseason, Texas completes the regular season with a three-game series at Anaheim starting tonight.
* INDIANS 9, BLUE JAYS 2: Manny Ramirez hit a three-run homer to up his RBI total to a franchise-record 164 as Cleveland coasted at Jacobs Field.
At 97-62, the Indians maintained the best record in the American League going into the final weekend of the season.
* WHITE SOX 5, RED SOX 2: Rookie Carlos Lee hit a tiebreaking home run, and Jeff Liefer had a pair of RBI doubles to lead Chicago at home.
The Red Sox became the AL wild-card team when New York clinched the AL East with a doubleheader split at Baltimore and will open the playoffs Wednesday against Cleveland or Texas.
* TIGERS 6, TWINS 5: Gabe Kapler, Dean Palmer and Luis Polonia homered as visiting Detroit got its sixth straight victory.
* ANGELS 5, ATHLETICS 4: Jeff Huson hit a tiebreaking single with two outs in the eighth inning, and Garret Anderson homered for Anaheim at home.