BALTIMORE-- The Orioles snapped a two-game skid in emphatic fashion, tying a franchise record with seven home runs in a 12-2 thrashing of the last-place Blue Jays on Wednesday night at Camden Yards.
The victory keeps the O's 1 1/2 games behind the American League East-leading Yankees, who beat the Twins, 8-2, earlier in the day. Baltimore maintained its half-game lead over Oakland for the top AL Wild Card spot and improved to 70-0 this season when leading after seven innings.
Panic? Not by this club.
"It's something they have created by the way they've played the game and the way they've gone about their business and the things they have done to create this opportunity, and they are the ones who have filled up the glass, so why would I not trust that?" manager Buck Showalter said as his club's magic number continues to dwindle. "I don't see the logic behind it. I've found through the years that it's real easy to have faith in good people, who have sincerity about themselves and care. We'll see what the game has in store for all of us. It lets you up off the deck if you stay true to it."
Thursday's key games to watch (all times ET)
Royals (Mendoza, 8-9) at Tigers (Fister, 10-9), 1:05 p.m. Preview >
A's (Blackley, 5-3) at Rangers (Harrison, 17-10), 2:05 p.m. Preview >
Mariners (Iwakuma, 7-5) at Angels (Haren, 12-11), 3:35 p.m. Preview >
Yankees (Nova, 12-7) at Blue Jays (Morrow, 8-7), 7:07 p.m. Preview >
Rays (Shields, 15-9) at White Sox (Peavy, 11-12), 8:10 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.
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.