Having already locked up the AL East title and the top seed for the playoffs, the only thing that's left for the Boston Red Sox is to find out if they'll be playing the Indians, Rays or Rangers in the best-of-five Division Series.
At task for the Red Sox today will be to close the regular season against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. A victory today would give the Red Sox 98 wins for the first time since 2004, when they won the World Series.
The Sox, who locked up the top seed yesterday when Oakland lost at Seattle, were 6-5 losers last night. Steve Pearce delivered a go-ahead two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning.
"We would have liked this game to finish up a little bit differently, but to know going into the postseason that for every series that we go into with that home-field advantage, being able to play in front of Fenway fans and how comfortable and successful we've been at home, this is a good thing," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
Pearce finished with three RBI and Brian Roberts added a solo homer for the Orioles, who have won three of their last four games.
"He's a pro, that's why every body respects him so much," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Pearce. "He's always willing to do what's best for the team."
John Lackey gets the start today for the Red Sox. He tossed a two-hit complete game in his last start against the Orioles on Sept. 19 at Fenway Park. He then suffered a loss at Colorado on Tuesday after giving up six hits and four runs in six innings.
In 23 career games against the Orioles, Lackey is 13-5 with a 3.35 ERA.
Chris Tillman is 0-2 over his last three starts, but the right-hander gets a chance to end a strong season at home on a positive note today. In his 17 home starts, he is 8-3 with a 3.88 ERA. In 10 career starts against Boston, Tillman is 4-2 with a 2.35 ERA
The Orioles, who are 10-8 against the Red Sox in 2013, have clinched the season series against Boston for second straight year for the first time since the 1991-92 seasons. A win in the rubber match of this three-game set would give the O's their 11th series in the last 14 sets against the Red Sox.