White Sox Path to the Postseason: Sept. 25, 2012

White Sox Path to the Postseason: Sept. 25, 2012

White Sox Path to the Postseason: Sept. 25, 2012
CHICAGO -- It wasn't easy, but the White Sox stayed atop the American League Central by virtue of their come-from-behind, 5-4 victory over the Indians on Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field. The winning runs scored in the eighth, when Adam Dunn connected for his 41st home run off Vinnie Pestano. The three-run shot erased a 3-2 Cleveland lead.

Wells Fargo

Detroit claimed a 6-2 victory over the Royals at Comerica Park, taking its cue from Justin Verlander, as the American League Cy Young candidate gave up two runs over eight innings. Chris Sale gave up three runs over seven innings, but both the White Sox and Tigers won behind their respective aces.

So, with nine games remaining, the White Sox magic number to clinch their first AL Central crown since 2008 stands at nine. The Tigers need a combination of 11 wins and White Sox losses to win their second straight division crown.

Francisco Liriano starts Tuesday afternoon for the White Sox, in game moved to the afternoon because of the Jewish High Holiday Yom Kippur. Corey Kluber gets the call for Cleveland, with each pitch, let alone each inning or each game, meaning so much to the South Siders.

"We got some hits and scored some runs when we needed to, and you gotta keep pushing," Sale said. "It's not going to be easy from here on out. We need every ballgame that we can get. 

"Tonight was a huge win. Like I said, it was on these guys tonight. Dunner getting that win. It's his night, for sure."

Tuesday's key games to watch (all times CT)

Indians (Kluber, 1-4) at White Sox (Liriano, 3-1), 1:10 p.m. Preview >

Royals (Chen, 11-12) at Tigers (Sanchez, 3-6), 6:05 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

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.