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TON -- Already the king of extra-inning wins, Baltimore extended its streak to a franchise-record 16 consecutive bonus-frame victories with Jim Thome's ground-rule RBI double sealing the deal in a 9-6, 12-inning win over the Red Sox on Saturday.
The marathon contest, the O's third game of at least 11 innings in their last four, gave them a season-high six-game winning streak and marked their ninth win in their last 10 games at Fenway Park. It also helped them keep pace in the American League East race, as the New York Yankees beat the A's, 10-9, in 14 innings to maintain a one-game lead over Baltimore.
The Orioles currently hold one of two AL Wild Card spots, with a two-game advantage.
"I think in baseball, I don't want to say you have to have a little luck, but you have to have a little mojo on your side," Thome said of an Orioles club that has secured its first season series win over the Red Sox since 2005. "You have to be talented. Our bullpen has done a tremendous job, and so have our starters. You can't forget the offense, either. When you play extra innings, you manufacture runs. That's one thing we've done really well."
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.