Now that the Chicago White Sox have clinched a tie for their first American League West title since 1983, they have seven more chances to win it outright.
A 5-3 victory over Texas in the opener of Sunday's doubleheader at Chicago brought the White Sox to the brink of the title, but a 3-2 loss in the second game delayed the celebration for at least one day.
"It's not over 'til they clinch," said Julio Franco, who put the Rangers ahead in the second game with a run-scoring double in the eighth. "We're not going to quit."
Bo's bee was the highlight of the first game. Bo Jackson hit his 14th homer in the second after a bee buzzed by the plate and chased him back to the dugout.
"I guess I was invading his space," Jackson said. "I tried to shoo him away but he came back. I tried again and he came back. Then I was in the dugout."
Consecutive singles by Lance Johnson, Ron Karkovice and Craig Grebeck gave Chicago a 2-0 lead in the fifth. The White Sox added three runs in the seventh on Ellis Burks' two-run double and Joey Cora's run-scoring single. Chris James hit a two-run single in the eighth for Texas.
Jason Bere (11-5) won his sixth consecutive start. He gave up four hits in six innings, including Dean Palmer's 32nd homer. Bere struck out five, walked five and hit a batter.
"Jason didn't have his best stuff," Manager Gene Lamont said. "We've been talking about how he sometimes doesn't have his best stuff but still wins."
The 22-year-old rookie said he was pumped up by the excitement of the series between the division leaders.
"It gives you a lot of adrenaline, sometimes too much," Bere said. "With two strikes, I wanted to go for the strikeout when it wasn't always a good idea."
Roberto Hernandez got four outs for his 37th save in 43 opportunities. Kenny Rogers (15-10) gave up three runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Roger Pavlik (11-6) won the second game, but his streak of 20 innings without an earned run was snapped. He gave up two runs--one earned--and six hits in seven-plus innings. He struck out six and walked two.
"I didn't worry about the streak, just so we won," Pavlik said. "I stuck with my fastball. I've been winning I guess because I've been feeling pretty good lately."
Tom Henke pitched two innings for his club-record 39th save in 46 chances, giving up a run in the eighth on Robin Ventura's sacrifice fly after Guillen and Tim Raines singled off Pavlik.
New York 7, Toronto 3--The Blue Jays clinched a tie for their third consecutive AL East title but missed a chance to win it completely, losing to Jim Abbott at Toronto.
To wrap up their fourth division championship in five years, the Blue Jays needed to win their final home game of the season and have Baltimore lose once in a doubleheader against Detroit.
"It's a tremendous disappointment," designated hitter Paul Molitor said. "When we got to this stage, we certainly hoped to do it in front of the hometown crowd and have a party in the SkyDome."
The Orioles lost the opener, 9-4, but a crowd of 50,518, which boosted the Blue Jays' total to an AL-record 4,057,947, saw the Yankees postpone the celebration.
"We talked about that before the game," Yankee Manager Buck SHowalter said. "If they're going to do it, let them do it somewhere else.
"It was a nice taste to leave in Toronto's mouth."
The Yankees ended a season-high five-game losing streak.
Jim Leyritz hit a three-run homer in the first off Todd Stottlemyre (11-11) and Abbott (11-13) made the lead stand up.
Abbott won for the first time in four starts since pitching a no-hitter against Cleveland on Sept. 9. He gave up a solo home run to Joe Carter, his 31st, in the second inning and left in the eighth soon after Pat Borders' two-run homer.
"It's not a fun feeling to see the other team win and celebrate," Abbott said.
Detroit 9-6, Baltimore 4-5--The Tigers eliminated the Orioles from contention in the East, as Mickey Tettleton tripled in the tie-breaking run in the ninth inning of a 6-5 victory that completed a doubleheader sweep at Baltimore.
In the first game, Cecil Fielder ended a monthlong home run drought and three other Tigers homered in a 9-4 victory. Eric Davis' 452-foot drive was the longest homer hit in a game at Camden Yards.
The losses dropped Baltimore into third place and left New York as the only team with a mathematical chance to catch first-place Toronto.
Baltimore has lost four in a row and nine of 12.
Travis Fryman had three hits in the first game and four in the second as the Tigers stretched their winning streak to four.
With the score tied at 5-5 in the second game, Fryman doubled off Alan Mills (5-4). Tettleton then tripled to center, scoring pinch-runner Kirk Gibson.
Mike Henneman (4-3) got the final two outs in the eighth. Joe Boever finished for his second save.
In the opener, Bill Gullickson (13-9) gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings for his first victory since Aug. 30.