The most recent victory came in a 10-9, 14-inning affair against Oakland on Saturday, in which the entire home dugout at Yankee Stadium was well aware that Baltimore already won, according to Eduardo Nunez, who hit the ball that scored the game-winning run on an error by Oakland first baseman Brandon Moss.
New York has taken the first two games against Oakland and Sunday's finale will be its final game against a team with a winning record, before finishing with Minnesota, Toronto and Boston. But the Yankees must take advantage of that schedule, with the Orioles keeping the division race close and the magic number to win the division at 11 games.
"They're playing extremely well," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We're playing well. We made the most of opportunities [Saturday] and they must have done the same thing. It's exciting for baseball."
Sunday's key games to watch (all times ET)
A's (Griffin, 6-1) at Yankees (Kuroda, 14-10), 1:05 p.m. Preview >
Orioles (Tillman, 8-2) at Red Sox (Doubront, 11-9), 1:35 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
Steven Miller is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.