[Down the stretch is a daily Orioles Insider blog that will set up the coming day for the O's and their American League competition as the push for the postseason continues.]

About last night

Thome keys 12th-inning rally as O's win, 9-6
O's extra-inning win streak defies probability
Notes: Andino not thrilled by Friday's beaning
Schmuck: Role reversal for Baltimore, Boston
An expert explains Oriole Magic
A win today at Fenway would tie a club record
Saturday's full scoreboard

AL East Standings

NYY       88-63     --
BAL       87-64     1
TB         82-70    6.5

AL Wild-Card Standings

BAL        87-64      --
OAK       85-66         --
LAA        83-69      2.5
TB          82-70     3.5
DET        80-70     4.5

Today’s game

Orioles at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m.

RHP Chris Tillman (8-2, 3.22 ERA) vs. LHP Felix Doubront (11-9, 5.08 ERA)


Key matchup

Dustin Pedroia is one of the few recongnizable names in the Red Sox lineup these days, and he's 3-for-7 in his career against Tillman with a double. Tillman has been dominant against right-handed hitters, though, holding them to a .198 batting average this year.


Other games that matter

Athletics (Griffin) at Yankees (Kuroda), 1:05 p.m.

Twins (Diamond) at Tigers (Smyly), 1:05 p.m.

Twins (Walters) at Tigers (Scherzer), 7:05 p.m.

Blue Jays (Jenkins) at Rays (Cobb), 1:40 p.m.

White Sox (Floyd) at Angels (Weaver), 3:35 p.m.

Rangers (Dempster) at Mariners (Vargas), 4:10 p.m.


Thought of the day

Need another reminder how volatile this year's playoff race is?

At this time last week, the Oakland A's were looking like a near shoo-in to host the wild-card game. Reporters who cover a number of teams were looking into hotels in the Bay Area.

Today, Oakland's stock is dropping fast, following two gut-punch extra-inning losses to the New York Yankees, yesterday's coming after they blew a four-run lead in the 13th inning.

Since taking the first two games from the Orioles last weekend, the A's are 1-5 and now sit just 2.5 games ahead of the Angels.