The Seattle Mariners' "magic number" became two after the Baltimore Orioles lost on Thursday.
That means any combination of two more Seattle wins or losses by Baltimore will clinch a playoff spot for the Mariners.
J.D. Martinez hit a two-run homer to break an eighth-inning tie, Zack Kelly earned his first career victory and the Boston Red Sox beat Baltimore 5-3 on Thursday to drop the slumping Orioles to the brink of postseason elimination.
Baltimore led 2-0 before falling behind, then tied it at 3 on Kyle Stowers’ seventh-inning homer. But Dillon Tate (4-4) walked the leadoff batter in the eighth and one out later Martinez sent a ball over the Green Monster and onto Lansdowne Street.
It was the fifth loss in six games for the Orioles, who entered the day 4½ games behind Seattle for the third and final AL wild-card berth. Baltimore’s loss meant the Blue Jays are heading into the playoffs.
The Mariners' magic number went down to three after the M's beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 on Wednesday.
As of Thursday afternoon, less than 2,000 tickets remained for Friday's M's game at T-Mobile Park, 5,000 tickets for Saturday's game, and 6,000 tickets for Sunday's game.