ARLINGTON -- The Rangers could clinch a playoff spot before they clinch the division title.
The Rangers went into Tuesday's game with the Athletics with a magic number of five to win the division title. But the magic number was three to clinch one of two AL Wild Card spots.
The Rangers will be happy once they clinch a playoff spot, but the real celebration won't come until they clinch the division title.
"The division, no doubt," outfielder David Murphy said. "It was definitely one of our goals coming into Spring Training to reach postseason, but with the two Wild Cards having to win a one-game playoff to get to the next round, it's more important to win the division. You show up for a one-game playoff and have a bad day, you're going home."
The Rangers have won five division titles but have never reached the playoffs as a Wild Card team. This year two Wild Card teams will have a one-game playoff with the winner taking on the team with the best record in the league. Right now the Rangers have the best record.
"If we can only get in on a Wild Card and you clinch that, then you celebrate," Washington said. "But you really celebrate the division title."
Second baseman Ian Kinsler said just clinching a playoff spot can't be completely overlooked.
"You definitely need to do something to toast that," Kinsler said. "Maybe not pop the champagne corks but recognize making the playoffs. But the division is the one we really want to celebrate."