O's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 24, 2012

O's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 24, 2012

O's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 24, 2012
BOSTON -- Seeking a sweep -- and with a rare chance to make up ground in the American League East -- the Orioles were instead denied by the Red Sox on Sunday, dropping their second game in their last 11 tries at Fenway Park with a 2-1 loss.

The defeat snapped a season-high six-game win streak for the Orioles, keeping them a game behind the division-leading Yankees, who lost to the A's.

"It [stinks]," center fielder Adam Jones said of the loss, which ended a 6-3 three-city road trip. "We needed this one. Obviously, going down to this last stretch, every game is seen as a must-win. We put ourselves in the position. We just didn't come through with the hit, but we put ourselves in the position. At the end of the day, that's all you can ask for."

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

Game 1: Blue Jays (Alvarez, 9-13) at Orioles (Johnson, 3-0), 4:05 p.m. Preview >

Game 2: Blue Jays (Romero, 8-14) at Orioles (Chen, 12-9), Preview >

A's (Straily, 2-1) at Rangers (Holland, 11-6), 8:05 p.m. Preview >

Yankees (Pettitte, 4-3) at Twins (Hendriks, 1-7), 8:10 p.m. Preview >

If the postseason started today ...

This is how the teams would match up: 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.