As Aaron Sele and the Seattle Mariners left Tropicana Field, they already were looking ahead.
"I think right now everybody's pretty pumped just to get on the plane and get to sleep," Sele said after Seattle beat Tampa Bay 5-4 Wednesday night for its eighth straight victory.
By Thursday night, though, the Mariners will have something else on their minds. The AL West leaders take a three-game lead over Oakland into the opener of a four-game series against the A's at Safeco Field.
"We're going to take it a game at a time," Sele said. "It's a clich for a reason."
The Athletics also headed west after splitting a day-night doubleheader in Baltimore, losing 2-0 before coming back to win 4-0.
Along with the division title, the A's are aiming at the wild card. They trail Cleveland by a half-game for the spot.
"If we win the series, no matter what we'll be in great shape," Oakland manager Art Howe said.
The Indians took over the wild card lead by sweeping a doubleheader at Boston, 2-1 and 5-4.
Tampa Bay's loss was its 10th in a row, the longest skid in the AL this year.
In other games, Chicago downed Detroit 13-6, Toronto topped New York 7-2, Texas beat Minnesota 6-4 in 12 innings and Anaheim defeated Kansas City 7-4 in 10 innings.
Sele pitched six innings and improved to 6-0 lifetime against the Devil Rays.
Seattle finished its first undefeated road trip in team history, going 6-0 at Baltimore and Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay has gone 28 games since it last scored more than five runs. That's the longest drought in the majors since the 1980 San Diego Padres went 29 games.
In the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals became the first team to book their playoff tickets, and the San Francisco Giants shouldn't be too far behind.
Jim Edmonds' third-inning grand slam got the Cardinals' clinching party off to an early start as St. Louis won the NL Central with a 11-6 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday night.
A sellout crowd at Busch Stadium saw the Cardinals win the division title for the first time since 1996, manager Tony La Russa's first year with the team.
The Giants moved within one win of clinching the NL West title as Barry Bonds homered into McCovey Cove, and Russ Ortiz threw six hitless innings in a 4-2 win over Cincinnati.
The Giants can win the division by beating Arizona on Thursday night. The Diamondbacks lost 1-0 at Los Angeles.
In other NL games, it was Los Angeles 1, Arizona 0; New York 6, Atlanta 3; Pittsburgh 7, Philadelphia 6; Montreal 4, Florida 2; Milwaukee 3, Chicago 2; and San Diego 15, Colorado 11.
Ray Lankford followed Edmonds' slam by homering on the next pitch from Chris Holt (7-15). Lankford and Craig Paquette each homered twice as St. Louis won for the eighth time in nine games.
Mark McGwire, limited to 79 games by a severe case of tendinitis in his right knee, was at the center of the celebration that will send him to the playoffs for the first time in eight years -- although probably in a pinch-hitting role.
"This is what baseball is all about," McGwire shouted. "This is what I've been trying to preach the last couple years. It's a team sport."
The Astros, who had three straight NL Central championships, had their five-game winning streak stopped.
Giants 4, Reds 2
Bonds' towering homer into the mist and water beyond Pacific Bell Park's right-field wall was the high point of a celebratory night for the Giants.
The homer tied Bonds with Lou Gehrig for 17th on the majors' career list and brought a raucous ovation from the Giants' fans.
J.T. Snow drove in three runs to back Ortiz (13-11), who allowed two hits over 6 2-3 innings to improve to 8-1 with a 1.92 ERA in his last 10 starts.
Robb Nen pitched the ninth for his 38th save. He has thrown 25 2-3 consecutive scoreless innings over 27 appearances.
Dodgers 1, Diamondbacks 0
Eric Karros hit a leadoff home run in the ninth off Byung-Hyun Kim (6-6) to give Los Angeles its second straight 1-0 victory and a sweep of the three-game series.
The Dodgers moved ahead of Arizona into second place in the NL West, and remained 5 1/2 games behind the Mets in the wild card race.
Mets 6, Braves 3
Al Leiter (16-7) outpitched Tom Glavine (19-9) and New York finally broke through with three homers at Turner Field.
Edgardo Alfonzo, Todd Zeile and Mike Piazza hit solo shots as the Mets avoided a three-game sweep and won for just the third time in their last 23 games at Atlanta.
The Braves lead New York by four games in the NL East. Atlanta's magic number for clinching its ninth straight division title remained at seven.
Expos 4, Marlins 2
Vladimir Guerrero tied his club record with his 42nd homer and Javier Vazquez (11-7) had 11 strikeouts for host Montreal.
Guerrero's sixth-inning homer was his fifth in four games, and the Expos' third of the game off Reid Cornelius (3-10) to tie the team record of 172 homers set in 1997.
Pirates 7, Phillies 6, 10 innings
Emil Brown and Adam Hyzdu homered in the 10th off Chris Brock (7-8) to lift Pittsburgh to a three-game sweep at Veterans Stadium.
Brewers 3, Cubs 2, 10 innings
First baseman Mark Grace misplayed Geoff Jenkins' grounder for an error in the bottom of the 10th, giving Milwaukee the win at home.
Chicago's Jon Lieber took a 1-0 lead into the ninth, but Jenkins led off with a home run and Jeromy Burnitz homered with one out to tie it.
Padres 15, Rockies 11
Dave Magadan and Mike Darr each had four RBIs as San Diego scored a season-high 15 runs.
John Mabry, a career .494 hitter (40-for-81) at Coors Field, went 3-for-4 with a homer and single.
Adam Eaton (6-3) won for the first time in four starts.
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