New York carried a two-run lead into the bottom of the seventh after Baltimore's 4-0 loss to Toronto was already in the books, but starter Phil Hughes and reliever Boone Logan couldn't stop Minnesota's four-run rally. The result was a loss that kept New York 1 1/2 games ahead of Baltimore.
The Yankees' magic number to reach the postseason is four, and their magic number to clinch the AL East title is seven.
"You had an opportunity," manager Joe Girardi said. "You can look at it the other way, too. So we have to come out and win the series tomorrow."
Wednesday's key games to watch (all times ET)
Yankees (Sabathia, 13-6) at Twins (Deduno, 6-5), 1:10 p.m. Preview >
Royals (Guthrie, 7-12) at Tigers (Porcello, 9-12), 7:05 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 >
Indians (Masterson, 11-15) at White Sox (Santiago, 3-1), 8:10 p.m. Preview >
Mariners (Hernandez, 13-8) at Angels (Wilson, 12-10), 10:05 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
Jordan Garretson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.