Orioles' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 29, 2012

Orioles' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 29, 2012

Orioles' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 29, 2012
BALTIMORE -- Led by starter Chris Tillman's eight dominant innings and a career-high five RBIs from Ryan Flaherty, the Orioles beat the Red Sox, 9-1, on Friday night to move another step closer to punching a playoff ticket.

Wells Fargo

The win keeps the Orioles atop the American League Wild Card standings and within a game of the American League East-leading Yankees, who beat the Blue Jays 11-4. Baltimore's magic number to clinch a playoff spot is three, and the O's could punch their postseason ticket in 15 years on Sunday.

"We really started that last year," Chris Davis said of the club's turnaround this season. "Carrying that momentum from Spring Training into this whole season, and now we're going to try to keep it going."

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

Yankees (Pettitte, 5-3) at Blue Jays (Romero, 9-14), 1:07 p.m. Preview >

Angels (Santana, 9-12) at Rangers (Holland, 11-6), 4:05 p.m. Preview >

Tigers (Verlander, 16-8) at Twins (Walters, 2-4), 4:05 p.m. Preview >

Rays (Moore, 10-11) at White Sox (Sale, 17-7), 4:05 p.m. Preview >

Mariners (Vargas, 14-11) at A's (Straily, 2-1), 4:05 p.m. Preview >

Red Sox (Doubront, 11-9) at Orioles (Johnson, 4-0), 7:05 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.