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Rays' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 23, 2012

Rays' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 23, 2012

Rays' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 23, 2012
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays extended their winning streak to four games on Saturday after an 11-5 win against the Blue Jays at Tropicana Field clinching the weekend series.

Elsewhere in the American League East, the Yankees beat the A'a and the Orioles topped the Red Sox in extra innings, keeping Tampa Bay 5 1/2 games behind the Orioles. With the A's loss, the Rays moved to within 3 1/2 games of the second Wild Card spot.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said that his team must worry about itself and the other teams will then start feeling the pressure.

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"I've been there on the other side of it, and it's tough when you're struggling and you wanna get this done, you want to make this happen," Maddon said. "If you have a lead, you just cannot wait for that ninth inning to come with two outs to get the final out to win the game ... You're living in the future a little bit too much, and that really is dangerous. Anxiety lives in the future, you gotta stay in the present."

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

Game 1: Twins (Diamond, 11-8) at Tigers (Scherzer, 16-6), 1:05 p.m. Preview >

Game 2: Twins (Walters, 2-4) at Tigers (Smyly, 4-3), 7:05 p.m.Preview >

A's (Griffin, 6-1) at Yankees (Kuroda, 14-10), 1:05 p.m. Preview >

Orioles (Tillman, 8-2) at Red Sox (Doubront, 11-9), 1:35 p.m. Preview >

Blue Jays (Jenkins 0-1) at Rays (Hellickson, 8-10), 1:40 p.m. Preview >

White Sox (Floyd, 10-10) at Angels (Weaver, 18-4), 3:35 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

Greg Zeck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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