While Ichiro Suzuki went home quietly, still waiting for the big hit he's been chasing, Bobby Crosby sent the Athletics into a decisive weekend series against Anaheim with the biggest hit of Oakland's season.
Suzuki got his 256th hit to move within one of George Sisler's record, but Crosby homered in the ninth inning yesterday to give the A's a 3-2 victory over the visiting Seattle Mariners.
With yet another dramatic hit by their rookie shortstop, the A's (90-69) moved back into a tie with the Angels atop the AL West. And there won't be a one-game playoff, either: The division champion will be determined in a season-ending, three-game series at the Coliseum.
"That's the perfect way to end the season -- just perfect," Crosby said.
After fouling off a bunt attempt in the ninth, Crosby pounded a one-out pitch from Scott Atchison (2-3) over the high fence in left for his 22nd homer.
Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a run-scoring single in the third, pulling him within one hit of tying Sisler's 84-year-old record of 257.
Suzuki went 1 for 5 and made the Mariners' final out, striking out against Octavio Dotel in the ninth -- but he'll have plenty of chances to surpass the mark in a three-game series against the Texas Rangers in Seattle.
Suzuki grounded out in the first inning, struck out in the fifth and flied to left in the seventh. Dotel (6-2) finished a perfect ninth by blowing a 3-2 fastball past Suzuki.
Jermaine Dye also homered for the A's, who fell out of first place Wednesday night for the first time since Aug. 5.
* RANGERS 6, ANGELS 3: Adrian Gonzalez drove in three runs with a pair of singles to lead Texas past visiting Anaheim, a day after the Rangers were eliminated from playoff contention.
Vladimir Guerrero went 4 for 4 with two more homers for the Angels, who finish the regular season with three games this weekend in Oakland to decide the AL West title.
Guerrero has 38 homers and is hitting .338 with a team-record 123 runs and 124 RBI in his first AL season.
* YANKEES 6, TWINS 4: In New York, Bernie Williams hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning to give the Yankees 100 victories and a seventh straight AL East title.
Williams's homer was the Yankees' major league-leading 241st of the season, and they broke the franchise record set in 1961. Hideki Matsui and John Olerud also homered for New York.
The Yankees became just the fourth team to post three straight 100-win seasons, joining Atlanta (1997-99), Baltimore (1969-71) and the Philadelphia Athletics (1929-31).
* TIGERS 8-4, DEVIL RAYS 0-6: Toby Hall's tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth inning gave host Tampa Bay a split of a doubleheader. In the opener, Jeremy Bonderman threw a four-hitter and Ivan Rodriguez hit his 250th career homer to spark Detroit.
* WHITE SOX 9, ROYALS 2: Mark Buehrle pitched a four-hitter for his fourth complete game of the season for visiting Chicago.
Buehrle (16-10) retired 18 straight after giving up two runs in the second inning. He struck out a season-high eight and walked none in handing Kansas City its sixth consecutive loss.