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Angels' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 19, 2012

ANAHEIM -- Thanks to an eight-run fourth inning, and the steady arm of ace Jered Weaver, the Angels defeated the Rangers, 11-3, on Tuesday night and gained some ground in the standings.

But not as much as they would've liked.

They're now 3 1/2 games back of the American League Wild Card-leading A's, who lost, 12-2, in Detroit. But they're still three back of the Orioles and Yankees -- both also tied atop the AL East -- for the second AL Wild Card spot. The Angels had a chance to move up a game, but the O's snuck out a 4-2 victory over the Mariners in 18 innings.

The Orioles were playing long after the Angels finished their game, but all the clubhouse TVs were turned off.

The focus remains in-house.

"We're at the point in the year where we just have to win," Angels catcher Chris Iannetta said. "If we play that day, we have to win. We have to find a way. Tomorrow, same situation -- we have to find a way to win. Texas, Oakland, Baltimore, they're all in the driver's seat, they're ahead of us, they're playing great baseball right now."

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

Rangers (Holland, 10-6) at Angels (Wilson, 12-9), 10:05 p.m. Preview >

Orioles (Saunders, 8-12) at Mariners (Hernandez, 13-8), 10:10 p.m. Preview >

A's (Anderson, 4-1) at Tigers (Verlander, 14-8), 7:05 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

Los Angeles Angels