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MLB Playoff Race

Athletics continue their walk-off magic

Oakland rallies to defeat Seattle. Baltimore is tied with New York for AL East lead.

September 30, 2012

The Oakland Athletics continued their improbable run to the playoffs Saturday with their major league-leading 14th walk-off victory, a 7-4 win over Seattle that moved them 21/2 games ahead of the Angels for the second American League wild-card spot with four to play.

Josh Donaldson hit a tying two-run home run in the ninth inning, and Brandon Moss hit a game-winning three-run homer in the 10th.

"Epic," Oakland Manager Bob Melvin said. "It's a pretty dramatic win."

The Baltimore Orioles have delivered under similar pressure. Their 19-year-old phenom, Manny Machado, broke a seventh-inning tie with a solo homer to lift them to a 4-3 win over the Boston Red Sox and into a first-place tie with the New York Yankees in the AL East.

The Orioles, who with the Yankees are one game ahead of Oakland in the wild-card standings, are 28-9 in one-run games and 72-0 in games they lead after seven innings.

The Yankees lost to Toronto, 3-2, going two for 11 with runners in scoring position.

Tampa Bay kept its slim playoff hopes alive with a 10-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox, as Matt Moore gave up one hit over 51/3 innings to keep the Rays within three games of Oakland. The White Sox fell two games behind Detroit in the AL Central.

Miguel Cabrera keyed a four-run eighth with a three-run homer to help the Tigers beat Minnesota, 6-4. Cabrera's 43rd homer tied him with Josh Hamilton for the league lead and moved him one step closer to the Triple Crown; Cabrera leads the AL in batting (.327) and runs batted in (136).

"It's unbelievable what he's done here," Detroit ace Justin Verlander, who gave up one run in seven innings to improve to 17-8, said of Cabrera. "He's the best hitter in the game, and he keeps taking it to another level."

In the National League, Atlanta prevented Washington from clinching the East with a 2-0 win over the New York Mets. The wild-card-leading Braves stayed within four games of the Nationals, who scored twice in the 10th to beat St. Louis, 6-4.

The Cardinals intentionally walked Danny Espinosa, who was hitting .186 in his last 21 games, to face Kurt Suzuki, who was hitting .409 in his last six games, in the 10th. Suzuki delivered a game-winning two-run double.

St. Louis is 21/2 games ahead of the Dodgers, who played Colorado on Saturday night, and four games ahead of Milwaukee for the second wild-card spot.

mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

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