A's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 16, 2012

A's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 16, 2012

A's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 16, 2012
OAKLAND -- The A's made progress Saturday night on two fronts in their push for the postseason. While the A's were beating the Baltimore Orioles, 5-2, the Texas Rangers fell, 8-6, to the Seattle Mariners.

The A's increased their lead in the American League Wild Card race to three games over the Orioles. They also pulled to within two games of the Rangers in the AL West. They haven't been this close to first place in the division since April 13 when they also trailed by two games.

The A's won the first two games in their-three game series with Baltimore and will go for the sweep Sunday afternoon. After a day off Monday, they then hit the road for a 10-game trip with stops at Detroit, New York and Texas. The A's went 6-1 on the road before coming home for their three-game set with Baltimore. Rookie right-hander Jarrod Parker, who earned his 11th win Saturday, said it was "huge" to keep winning at home.

"We know every game from here on out is enormous," Parker said. "Every game means something. Every out means something. So obviously if we're able to continue playing well and doing what we're doing, we know we have a chance to do some great things."

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

Rays (Moore, 10-10) at Yankees (Kuroda, 13-10), 10:05 a.m. Preview >

Angels (Haren, 10-11) at Royals (W. Smith, 5-7), 11:10 a.m. Preview >

Mariners (Beavan, 9-9) at Rangers (Harrison, 16-9), 12:05 p.m. Preview >

Orioles (Wolf, 5-10) at A's (Straily, 2-0), 1:05 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

Eric Gilmore is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.