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Angels' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 27, 2012

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Angels' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 27, 2012
ANAHEIM -- Thanks to Torii Hunter, who notched the game-tying and game-winning hits in a 4-3 walk-off victory over the Mariners, the Angels might've saved their season on Wednesday.

Wells Fargo

Hunter's heroics allowed the Angels to keep pace in the American League Wild Card standings on a night when the Athletics (9-3 over the Rangers), Orioles (12-2 over the Blue Jays) and Rays (4-2 over the Red Sox) all won. With seven games left, the Angels -- a season-best 17 games over .500 after their fifth straight win -- still sit two games back of the A's for the second AL Wild Card spot and 2 1/2 back of the O's for the first. The Rays are one game behind them, while the Rangers are five games better in the AL West.

"It's a crazy time of the year," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "All we can control is how we play. Needless to say, we need wins, and it's a big win tonight."

Thursday's key games to watch (all times ET)

Mariners (Iwakuma, 7-5) at Angels (Haren, 12-11), 3:35 p.m. Preview >

A's (Blackley, 5-3) at Rangers (Harrison, 17-10), 2:05 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 »

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

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.

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