OAKLAND — The Oakland Athletics won their first American League West title since 1981 Monday night when they unseated the defending World Series champion Minnesota Twins with a 5-3 victory.
Led by Dave Parker with a 2-run homer, Oakland won its 96th game of the season and mathematically eliminated the second-place Twins, who trail by 12 1/2 games. The title is the Athletics' seventh during 21 seasons in Oakland.
Minnesota became the ninth World Series champion that failed to repeat since the New York Yankees won in 1977 and '78.
Dave Stewart (19-12) gave up 8 hits and 3 runs in 6 innings, striking out 6. Dennis Eckersley finished with two perfect innings for his major leagues-leading 42nd save.
It was Oakland's 59th save, an AL record, topping the old mark set by the 1970 Twins and tied by the 1986 New York Yankees. The major league record is 60 by Cincinnati in 1970 and 1972.
Minnesota led, 3-2, but Jose Canseco led off the A's third with a single, and Parker hit a 1-and-1 pitch from Fred Toliver (7-5) into the right-field bleachers. Mike Gallego singled home another run later in the inning.
The Athletics will try for their 13th pennant. They won 9 in Philadelphia from 1901 to 1953, all between 1902 and 1931. They failed to finish higher than sixth during 13 seasons in Kansas City and then won 3 consecutive pennants and World Series in Oakland in 1972-1974.
Oakland held or shared first place for all but 5 days this season.