The AL East-leading Yankees lost Thursday, which allowed the Rays to move to within four games of the division lead. The Rays are three games away from being eliminated from winning the division title.
On Friday night, the Orioles will host the Red Sox, the Athletics will again host the Mariners and the Rangers will host the Angels while the Rays play the second game of a four-game series against the White Sox.
"It's one game," said Rays slugger Evan Longoria about Thursday night's win. "I hate to kind of bring down the mood. But it doesn't put us ahead, it brings us a little closer, but it doesn't guarantee anything. ... So we just enjoy it tonight and come back tomorrow and try to win another one."
Friday's key games to watch (all times ET)
Red Sox (Cook, 4-10) at Orioles (Tillman, 8-2), 7:05 p.m. Preview >
Yankees (Kuroda, 14-11) at Blue Jays (Jenkins, 0-2), 7:07 p.m. Preview >
Angels (Weaver, 19-4) at Rangers (Dempster, 7-2), 8:05 p.m. Preview >
Rays (Hellickson, 9-10) at White Sox (Floyd, 10-11), 8:10 p.m. Preview >
Mariners (Beavan, 10-10) at A's (Griffin, 6-1), 10:05 p.m. Preview >
If the postseason started today ...
This is how the teams would match up: Postseason Bracket »
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.
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