For the Orioles, a door is ajar.
The Tampa Bay Rays have left it open. Losers of 13 of their last 17 games, the Rays have allowed other clubs, including the Orioles, to remain very much alive to gain the second American League wild card.
Tampa Bay currently holds that spot, but is just one game ahead of New York, and 1 1/2 games up on Cleveland and the Orioles, and two games ahead of Kansas City.
Brian Roberts today talked about the O's missing some chances, but still having some with 17 games to play.
"The teams in front of us have definitely left us in it," Roberts said. "You look at the Rays and some of those teams. If they had won more recently, we'd be in a tough spot.
"It is our job to try and take advantage of that. Unfortunately, we haven't done a great job of that the last couple of nights. But we are still in it and that is all that we can ask for."
The Orioles have won just one of their last five series and that was against last-place Chicago. They'll lose this series if they don't win tonight against the Yankees. Roberts said the team is trying to quickly turn the page after back-to-back tough losses in this series.
"Yeah, there is nothing you can do about it today. You just pick up, move on and go back after it tonight," he said.
The Orioles can win their first season series against the Yankees since 1997 with a win tonight, as the series is tied at 9-9. But Roberts is focusing not so much on that chance, but the bigger picture.
"No, makes no difference to us (to finally beat the Yankees in a season series). They won last year and we still went to the playoffs," he said.