Newcomer Doug Fister pitched the Detroit Tigers to the AL Central title on Friday night, beating the Oakland Athletics 3-1 to secure the club's first division title in nearly a quarter-century.
Fister (9-13) retired 17 straight during one stretch to win his third straight start and fifth consecutive decision, and Wilson Betemit hit a go-ahead triple off Trevor Cahill (11-14) in the sixth. Don Kelly hit a solo home run in the seventh.
Detroit is headed to the playoffs for the first time since winning the AL wild card in 2006 and losing to St. Louis in the World Series. The Tigers (88-63) had not finished on top since winning the AL East in 1987, three years after their last World Series championship.
Manager Jim Leyland hopes for another special postseason run with his rebuilt roster.