But they didn't really get the outside help they need.
The A's won in Texas, 3-2 in 10 innings, to stay two games ahead of the Angels for the second AL Wild Card spot with eight games left. So did the Rays, beating the Red Sox, 5-2, to give them six straight wins and put them one game back of the Angels. But the Wild Card-leading Orioles lost to the Blue Jays, 4-0, dropping their lead on the Angels to 2 1/2 games.
"We've talked ever since we've been in this situation of controlling what we can control," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "What you really want to guard against is not playing to the level you need to and having an opportunity and not being where you need to be to take advantage of it. So, we need to keep winning."
Wednesday's key games to watch (all times ET)
Mariners (Hernandez, 13-8) at Angels (Wilson, 12-10), 10:05 p.m. Preview >
Blue Jays (Villanueva, 7-6) at Orioles (Gonzalez, 7-4), 7:05 p.m. Preview >
Rays (Cobb, 9-9) at Red Sox (Lester, 9-13), 7:10 p.m. Preview >
A's (Parker, 11-8) at Rangers (Perez, 1-2), 8:05 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.
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
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less