{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

A's begin two-week stretch vs. contenders

A's begin two-week stretch vs. contenders

|
A's begin two-week stretch vs. contenders

BALTIMORE -- The A's embarked on a crucial 13-game stretch against contenders beginning Friday in Baltimore, and manager Bob Melvin said the focus is still on winning the division.

Oakland trailed the Rangers by 2 1/2 games in the American League West entering Friday. However, the A's hold the second AL Wild Card spot, 2 1/2 games ahead of Cleveland and three games ahead of the Orioles. Melvin said the key is to win the division to avoid the AL Wild Card Game.

"You'd like to win the division first ," Melvin said. "If you don't, then you want to be in that game. Any time you get in the postseason, that's terrific. Our sights, for us right now, are still on the division."

Over the next three weeks, the A's will also play the Tigers and Rays, each of whom are in the playoff hunt. Oakland will then play another huge three-game series at home against Texas that could help decide the division.

"It's a little bit of an easier road when you win the division, rather than have to play a one-game playoff to get into a longer series," Melvin said. "It certainly makes for some drama for the fans, that winner-take-all game."

Todd Karpovich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español