The Detroit Tigers finally clinched a playoff berth in the American League and also trimmed their magic number for winning the AL Central division to one.
The Tigers defeated the Minnesota Twins 4-2 on Tuesday night thanks to three home runs in the fourth inning off the bats of Victor Martinez, Omar Infante and Austin Jackson.
Starter Doug Fister got the win after working 6 1/3 innings and giving up two earned runs, while closer Joaquin Benoit shut the door in the ninth inning for his 23rd save.
The Tigers can clinch the AL Central if they win any of their final four games or if the Indians lose any of their remaining five contests.
Elsewhere, the Tampa Bay Rays continued to cling to a narrow lead in the race for one of two AL wildcard spots, remaining one game ahead of the Cleveland Indians and two games ahead of the Texas Rangers with five games remaining.
The Rays routed the New York Yankees 7-0 on Tuesday, as starter Matt Moore and relievers Jamey Wright and Jake Odorizzi combined for the shutout. Moore (16-4) struggled with his command and gave up a whopping six walks, but he allowed only three hits and no earned runs over five innings at Yankee Stadium.
The Indians and Rangers, however, stayed on the Rays' heels with wins on Tuesday night.
Cleveland fell behind 4-3 when closer Chris Perez gave up two home runs in the top of the ninth inning, but pinch hitter Jason Giambi connected on a walk-off two-run blast in the bottom of the ninth to give the Tribe a thrilling 5-4 home victory.
The Rangers refused to give up any ground either, edging the Houston Astros 3-2 in Arlington thanks to strong pitching and a home run by third baseman Adrian Beltre in the bottom of the sixth inning. EFE