The right-field corner is now as much a part of Boston Red Sox lore as the left-field wall.

Tom Brunansky's sliding catch of Ozzie Guillen's liner Baseballroundupdown the right-field line with two on and two out in the top of the ninth inning Wednesday night clinched the Boston Red Sox third division title in the last five seasons with a 3-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Red Sox fans in Fenway Park surely had visions of disasters past - Bucky Dent's game-winning homer and Bill Buckner's game-losing grounder - when Guillen ripped a pitch from Jeff Reardon that had double written all over it.

Brunansky, charging toward the line, made a sliding grab on the warning track out of view of television cameras, preserving the lead and sending the Red Sox into the American League Championship Series against the Oakland Athletics.

"As an outfielder you're taught to think certain things," said Brunansky, "it was just instinctive. If I had to go back or if he hit it down the line, I was going to dive for it - take a chance.

As Brunansky scrambled to get to his feet, and with Red Sox fans pouring onto the field, there was still a moment of uncertainty as to whether Brunansky had made the catch.

"Yeah, I hung onto it," he said. "I just wanted to get my hat. I said to him (first-base umpire Tim McClleland), take the ball. It's in my glove."

Boston was paced by the strong seven-inning performance by veteran Mike Boddicker, 17-8, and a three-run offensive burst in the second inning.

The playoffs, a rematch of the 1988 series in which the A's swept the Red Sox, are scheduled to begin Saturday at Fenway Park.

Boston's victory came even as second-place Toronto was fighting to prolong the race in Baltimore. The Blue Jays were taking the field for the bottom of the ninth inning when the scoreboard in Memorial Stadium replayed Brunansky's effort.

Moments later, Mickey Tettleton blasted a leadoff homer to lift the Orioles to a 3-2 victory.

"This team battled all year," Toronto Manager Cito Gaston said. "They were 6 1-2 (games) back (in early September), and they came back. I'm proud of them."

Tettleton's season-ending blast, his 15th home run of the season, tagged Tom Henke with his fourth loss against two wins.

Tigers 10, Yankees 3

At New York, Detroit's Cecil Fielder became the 11th player in major league history to hit 50 homers in a season by belting his 50th and 51st in the Tigers' 10-3 victory over the Yankees.

He became the first major-leaguer to hit 50 homers in a season since George Foster hit 52 in 1977. He also became the first American Leaguer since Yankee teammates Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle hit 61 and 54 respectively in 1961.

In addition, Fielder became the first Detroit player to hit 50 homers in over 50 years. Hank Greenberg belted 58 in 1938.

"I have a feeling of relief," said Fielder. "There is a lot of pressure off me. My wife (Stacey Granger) told me 'If you do it, you do it, if not, you have had a great season."

Indians 5, Royals 2

In Cleveland, George Brett singled in his only official at-bat and became the first player in history to win a batting title in three different decades.

Brett, a .200 hitter on May 7, won the AL batting crown with a .329 average and also became the third-oldest man to do so.

Only Ted Williams and Honus Wagner won titles at an older age than Brett, 37. Brett won batting titles in 1976 with a .333 average and in 1980 with a .390 mark.

Brett's single forced Oakland's Rickey Henderson to go 3-for-3, which he did not do. Henderson removed himself after going 1-for-3 and wound up at .325.

Angels 11, Athletics 6

At Oakland, Calif., Henderson fell short of overtaking Brett and the A's closed their regular season with an 11-6 loss to the California Angels.

Henderson struck out and singled in his first two at-bats then bounced into a fielder's choice in the fourth inning before leaving the game.

However, the Athletics did have one batting champion on the club as Willie McGee, acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals on Aug. 29, finished the season at .335 to capture the National League's title.

Henderson also failed to steal a base, leaving him at 65 for the year and keeping him two short of Lou Brock's major-league record of 938.

Twins 7, Mariners 4

At Minneapolis, Shane Mack had three hits, including a game-tying RBI double, to lead the Twins.

Brewers 6, Rangers 3

At Milwaukee, Robin Yount drove in two runs and Teddy Higuera allowed three runs over seven innings for Milwaukee.

National League

Mets 6, Pirates 3

In Pittsburgh, Frank Viola became a 20-game winner for the second time in his career, giving the New York Mets a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday.

Viola, who won 24 games in 1988, raised his record to 20-12. He had lost three straight in his quest for his 20th victory. He pitched seven innings, allowing seven hits. He walked two and struck out five.

Astros 3, Reds 2

Houston's Glenn Davis led off the ninth with a walk of loser Tim Birtsas, 1-3, and Youngran for Davis. Caminiti tripled to deep center to score Young and down the Cincinnati Reds. Dave Smith, 6-6, hurled the final 1 1-3 innings for the victory.

Giants 6, Braves 3

At San Francisco, Greg Litton went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI, lifting the Giants. Steve Bedrosian, 9-9, relieved starter Kelly Downs in seventh and pitched one inning. Francisco Oliveras entered in the eighth and picked up his second save. Steve Avery, 3-11, took the loss.

Expos 9, Cardinals 2

At Montreal, Spike Owen and Nelson Santovenia hit consecutive triples in a seven-run seventh, helping the Expos give manager Buck Rodgers his team-record 500th victory. St. Louis, managed by shortstop Ozzie Smith for the day, ended its season with a seven-game slide.

Cubs 4, Phillies 3

At Philadelphia, Joe Girardi doubled in one run and Mark Grace walked with the bases loaded to force in another, leading Chicago. Greg Maddux, 15-15, broke a two-game losing streak. Paul Assenmacher pitched the ninth for his 10th save. Reliever Chuck McElroy, 0-1, took the loss.

Padres 7, Dodgers 3

At Los Angeles, Mark Parent hit San Diego's fourth home run of the game to snap a 3-3 tie in the sixth. The Padres added three more runs in the sixth after Parent led off with his third home run to give Eric Show, 6-8, his 100th career victory.