A wild-card finish

By wire services
Published October 2, 2005

The Yankees rule the AL East, but what's left is a scramble for both leagues' wild-card berths.

It's not over.

Baseball's regular season closes out today with both the American and National league's wild-card races threatening to prolong matters by another day.

The Red Sox and Astros control their own fates today. By winning, each could assure a wild-card berth in the division series. Their rivals, the Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies, respectively, must win just to even hope for a Monday head to head.

At Fenway Park on Saturday, the Yankees, behind home runs by Gary Sheffield, Hideki Matsui and Alex Rodriguez, defeated the defending world champion Red Sox 8-4 to clinch the East Division crown in a most unusual way. Cleveland's loss to the Chicago White Sox ensured New York of its eighth East title in a row, even though Boston and the Yankees still can finish with identical records.

White Sox rookie Tadahito Iguchi hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning and Chicago held on 4-3, sending the Indians into the regular season's final day without control of their October fate.

The Astros used 43-year-old Roger Clemens' 341st career victory - 3-1 over the Cubs - to clinch a tie for the NL wild card. Philadelphia remained a game behind Houston by pounding the Nationals 8-4.