A’s close in on playoff berth 

click to enlarge Oakland Athletics' Yoenis Cespedes (52) is congratulated after hitting a home run hit off Seattle Mariners' Shawn Kelley in the eighth inning. - BEN MARGOT/AP
  • Ben Margot/AP
  • Oakland Athletics' Yoenis Cespedes (52) is congratulated after hitting a home run hit off Seattle Mariners' Shawn Kelley in the eighth inning.

Another dramatic win in hand, the A’s gathered around the big screen clubhouse TV and began feasting on Mexican food while watching the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers play the second game of their Texas doubleheader.

The upstart A’s are still chasing an AL West title with three games to go. And that’s about as ideal a scenario as anyone around here could have envisioned in a season full of injuries, sweeping changes and even a drug suspension for key starting pitcher Bartolo Colon.

“Oh, we’re pumped,” third baseman Josh Donaldson said.

Yoenis Cespedes hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning to move Oakland a win closer to the club’s first playoff berth in six years, and the A’s beat the Seattle Mariners 5-2 on Sunday to stay right on the heels of Texas in the AL West race.

Cespedes also hit an RBI triple and Brandon Moss had a sacrifice fly in the first inning for the A’s, who pulled within 1½ games of Texas. The Rangers were still playing Game 2 against the Angels on Sunday night.

The two-time reigning AL champion Rangers come to the Coliseum for the final three games starting today with the division crown still up for grabs.

“It’s our choice,” closer Grant Balfour said. “If we go out there and win, good things are going to happen.”

Oakland (91-68) leads Los Angeles by 2½ games for the second AL wild card.

Cespedes sent a 1-2 pitch from Shawn Kelley (2-4) towering into the left-field seats for his 23rd homer.

Josh Reddick connected with a two-run shot for his team-leading 32nd homer two batters later as the A’s made it a sweep.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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