Posted September 13, 2012 on AP on Fox
The Oakland Athletics' remarkable turnaround over the last three months has them atop the AL wild-card race, and the West leaders are well within reach. The Baltimore Orioles are already enjoying the view from the top of their division. There's plenty at stake for these two surprising contenders as this series kicks off Friday in Oakland, where the first-place Orioles look to clinch their first winning season since making their last playoff appearance in 1997. Coming into the season, a mid-September series between Oakland (82-61) and Baltimore (81-62) seemed likely to garner about as much buzz as a sparsely attended spring training game. Instead, this three-game set has wide-ranging ramifications. The Athletics' 56-26 record since June 11 is baseball's best, and the numbers in that stretch - 118 homers and a 3.21 ERA, both second in the majors - offer plenty of evidence for why they've been so effective. Baltimore's rise is harder to quantify. The Oriole...
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