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Associated Press, Published September 21 2013

Athletics remain on brink of playoffs with win over Twins

OAKLAND, Calif. – The plastic that was taped across the lockers in Oak-land’s clubhouse came down and the champagne that was on ice went back into the cooler.

The Athletics will have to wait at least one more day before celebrating a playoff berth.

A year after capturing the AL West with a dra-matic win on the final day of the regular season, Oakland lowered its magic number to one for clinch-ing a second straight divi-sion title, beating the Min-nesota Twins 9-1 Saturday behind the pitching of Jarrod Parker and hitting of Alberto Callaspo.

“It’s something where we know we’ve got to take care of what we do, and if we win it’s going to take care of itself,” said Parker, who allowed one run and four hits over six innings. “Right now we got to do what we do. We know it’s right there. If we handle what we do and we win games, it’s going to happen.”

The A’s were prepared just in case it happened Saturday.

After Oakland’s win, most of the team stayed in the clubhouse to watch the ending of the second-place Texas Rangers game against Kansas City. About 100 fans lingered in the stadium as well, viewing the game on Coliseum’s two big scoreboards.

When the Rangers rec-orded the final out to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, the celebration was put on hold.

Oakland can still clinch at home by beating Minne-sota in the series finale Sunday.

“It’s the best thing that can happen for any team, not just for us, to qualify in your home city,” said A’s slugger Yoenis Cespedes, who hit his 26th home run of the season in the eighth inning.

Callaspo also homered and matched his career high with four hits for Oakland.

The A’s have won 12 of 15 and are 16 of their last 21, opening a season-high 7½-game lead over second-place Texas entering Sat-urday.

“We’re swinging the bats well and adding on and hitting home runs and doing a lot of things that we continue to do,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “The timing for that seems to be pretty good.”

Parker (12-7), who may start the A’s postseason opener, gave up one run and four hits in six in-nings, allowed only two runners past first and didn’t walk a batter for the fifth time this season. He gave up eight runs against the Los Angeles Angels on Sept. 16.

Callaspo matched his ca-reer highs with four hits and had three RBIs. Kurt Suzuki also homered for the A’s, and Jed Lowrie had three hits.

The game started after a two-hour rain delay. The visiting dugout was flooded and sewage backed up in the A’s coaches’ bathroom, the third such incident at the Coliseum this season. The infield was covered by a silver tarp before the game and workers repeatedly had to sweep big puddles of water away.

Josmil Pinto homered for Minnesota, 1-5 on its trip. Twins starter Pedro Her-nandez (3-2) gave up six runs and eight hits in two innings.

“Any mistake you make right now they jump on you,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. “It’s like piranhas with blood in the water. They add on and just keep swinging. Every time we made a mistake they just kill you. They are really getting after it.”

Callaspo’s two-out single in the first drove in Lowrie, and the A’s opened a 6-0 lead with a five-run second. Chris Young had a sacrifice fly, Cespedes a two-run single and Cal-laspo a two-run homer.

Suzuki added a two-run homer in the sixth off Liam Hendricks and Cespedes hit 26th homer in the eighth.

Minnesota Oakland

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Presley cf 4 0 1 0 CYoung cf 4 0 0 1

Dozier 2b 4 0 2 0 Lowrie ss 5 1 3 0

Plouffe 3b 4 0 1 0 Dnldsn 3b 5 1 2 0

Arcia lf 4 0 0 0 Cespds dh 5 2 2 3

Doumit dh 4 0 0 0 Callasp 2b 5 2 4 3

Pinto c 3 1 2 1 KSuzuk c 4 1 1 2

Parmel rf 3 0 0 0 Reddck rf 3 0 1 0

Colaell 1b 3 0 0 0 Choice lf 4 1 2 0

Flormn ss 3 0 0 0 Barton 1b 4 1 1 0

Totals 32 1 6 1 Totals 39 9 16 9

Minnesota 000 010 000— 1

Oakland 150 000 21x— 9

E—Colabello (2), Florimon (17). DP—Oakland 1. LOB—Minnesota 4, Oakland 9. 2B—Dozier (32), Lowrie (44), Donaldson (36), Reddick (18). HR—Pinto (3), Cespedes (26), Callaspo (9), K.Suzuki (2). SF—C.Young.

IP H R ER BB SO

Minnesota

P.Hrnandez L,3-2 2 8 6 6 1 1

Hendriks 6 8 3 3 1 7

Oakland

J.Parker W,12-7 6 4 1 1 0 1

Otero 1 1 0 0 0 1

Blevins 2 1 0 0 0 2

T—2:53. A—26,393 (35,067).

Friday’s late box

Athletics 11, Twins 0

Minnesota Oakland

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Presley cf 4 0 1 0 Crisp cf 3 1 0 0

CHrmn c 4 0 0 0 S.Smith lf 1 0 0 0

Dozier 2b 3 0 0 0 Dnldsn 3b 3 2 2 2

Bernier 2b 1 0 0 0 Parrino ss 1 0 0 0

Arcia rf 4 0 1 0 Lowrie ss 4 1 1 0

Wlngh dh 3 0 2 0 Sogard 2b 0 0 0 0

Colaell ph 1 0 0 0 Cespds dh 4 1 1 1

Parmel 1b 3 0 0 0 DNorrs c 3 3 2 0

EEscor 3b 4 0 2 0 CYung lf-cf 4 1 0 0

Thoms lf 3 0 0 0 JWeeks cf 0 0 0 0

Flormn ss 3 0 0 0 Cllsp 2b-3b 4 1 2 2

Reddck rf 3 1 2 1

Chice ph-rf 1 0 0 0

Barton 1b 4 0 1 0

Totals 33 0 6 0 Totals 35 11 11 6

Minnesota 000 000 000— 0

Oakland 030 152 00x— 11

E—C.Herrmann (2), E.Escobar 2 (7), Arcia (2). DP—Minnesota 1. LOB—Minnesota 7, Oakland 3. 2B—Arcia (17), Willingham (20), D.Norris (15). HR—Donaldson (24), Cespedes (25). SB—Dozier (13), D.Norris (5).

IP H R ER BB SO

Minnesota

A.Albers L,2-4 4Xc 8 8 3 1 2

Pressly 1Zc 3 3 3 1 2

Tonkin 2 0 0 0 0 2

Oakland

Colon W,17-6 6 5 0 0 1 8

Milone 2 0 0 0 0 3

Scribner 1 1 0 0 0 2

HBP—by A.Albers (D.Norris). WP—Pressly.

T—2:57. A—36,067 (35,067).