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Orioles' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 17, 2012

Orioles' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 17, 2012

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Orioles' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 17, 2012
OAKLAND -- For the first time since 1997, the Baltimore Orioles have secured a winning season, with Sunday's 9-5 sweep-avoiding win over the Oakland A's, but the playoff-hungry players aren't satisfied.

"It's just another step," reliever Brian Matusz said of reaching the 82-win plateau. "It's a great feeling to come out here and accomplish any one of our goals, but there are many more to go this year. We're not just going to stop here. We are going to keep going and play good baseball."

They got back to that Sunday, using a pair of homers from catcher Matt Wieters and a four-hit afternoon from Endy Chavez to surpass the combined run total from their previous three games and avoid a sweep in Oakland.The victory -- dubbed a must-win by center fielder Adam Jones after Saturday's loss -- marks Baltimore's third in its past 19 games at the Oakland Coliseum and, most importantly, keeps the Orioles within a game of the American League East-leading New York Yankees, who defeated the Rays on Sunday in New York.

Wells Fargo

Today's key games to watch (all times ET)

Orioles (Tillman, 7-2) at Mariners (Noesi, 2-11), 10:10 p.m. Preview >

Tigers (Fister, 9-8) at White Sox (Quintana, 6-4), 2:10 p.m. Preview >

If the postseason started today ...

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Wild Card: Second Wild Card at First Wild Card
Division Series: Second-best AL record vs. Third-best AL record | Best AL record at Wild Card winner

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Wild Card: Second Wild Card at First Wild Card
Division Series: Second-best NL record vs. Third-best NL record | Best NL record at Wild Card winner

Postseason Bracket »

Postseason 101

Magic numbers
To calculate a team's magic number, take the number of games it has remaining and add one. Then subtract the difference in the number of losses between that team and its closest pursuer.

Tiebreaker scenarios
A tiebreaker game will be played to determine a division winner, even if the tied clubs are assured of participating in the postseason. If a division championship tiebreaker is necessary, the head-to-head record between the clubs will determine home-field advantage. If the head-to-head record is tied, then the division record will be the next tiebreaker.

If two clubs are tied for the two Wild Card berths, home-field advantage will be determined by the head-to-head record between the clubs. If the head-to-head record is tied, then the division record will be the next tiebreaker.

Tiebreaker rules »

2012 postseason schedule
Wild Card playoff games: Oct. 5
Division Series: Oct. 6-12
AL Championship Series: Oct. 13-21
NL Championship Series: Oct. 14-22
World Series: Oct. 24-Nov. 1

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["path_to_the_postseason" ] }
{"content":["path_to_the_postseason" ] }
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