SEATTLE -- The Rangers are trying not to be greedy. But when they saw that second-place Oakland had lost earlier Friday evening in Yankee Stadium, Texas faced an opportunity to move another step closer to the American League West title that is the first rung on the ladder the Rangers hope to climb in October.
The chance was there, but the Rangers were saddled with a 6-3 loss to the Mariners, the last-place team in the AL West. The Rangers held their division lead at four games over the A's with 12 games left to play.
What to do? Not much. Just come back the next day.
"The fact that the A's lost doesn't mean that we've got to win," left fielder David Murphy said. "We're always out there trying to win, no matter what. Tonight it just didn't happen."
Martin Perez, getting a rare start, said he tried to not even look at the scoreboard because that would interfere with what he was trying to do on the mound.
"You could say it's frustrating to lose after [the A's] lose," Perez said. "But you don't think about that in the game. I was just trying to make my pitches and we were all just trying to win this game and not worry about anything else."
Today's key games to watch (all times CT)
A's (Blackley, 5-3) at Yankees (Nova, 12-7), 12:05 p.m. Preview >
Rangers (Harrison, 17-9) at Mariners (Beavan, 9-10), 8:10 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
John Hickey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.