Games to Watch

Yes, the Red Sox are at the Yankees, but New York wrapped up a playoff spot yesterday and Boston is running away with the AL wild-card race. That still leaves two hot matchups: Los Angeles at San Francisco and Oakland at Anaheim.

The Angels are all but out of the wild-card race; they need to overtake the A's or make October vacation plans. The Giants' situation is also pressing: They lost ground last night, falling to the Astros and were a game behind the Dodgers, whose game finished too late for this edition. The Cubs have the easiest of remaining schedules and now lead the wild-card race by one-half game.

Player to Watch

Kevin Brown, Yankees. It will only be a bullpen session, but the right-hander, who had two pins removed yesterday from his surgically repaired left hand, will throw today. He is still a long shot to pitch Sunday against Curt Schilling at Fenway Park, but Manager Joe Torre said he hoped Brown would get several starts before the end of the regular season. Brown, who broke the hand by punching a wall on Sept. 3, is 10-4 with a 3.99 ERA this season.

News & Notes

The Rangers, who moved within two games of Oakland in the AL West race, will begin selling playoff tickets Saturday. . . . The Red Sox activated Ellis Burks, 40, after nearly five months on the disabled list. . . . Dodgers slugger Shawn Green said he will play Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against the Giants, but will sit out Saturday afternoon's game in observance of Yom Kippur.