The Detroit Tigers will spend the final week of the regular season doing some fine-tuning ahead of their first playoff appearance since 2006.
The Baltimore Orioles hope to use a recent surge against some of the AL's top teams as a springboard to a possible playoff run next season.
Detroit begins its final regular-season homestand Thursday night with the first of four games against Baltimore.
The Tigers (90-65) return to Comerica Park following Wednesday's 6-3 win over Kansas City to close their road schedule at 45-36. The AL Central champions have alternated wins and losses in their last six contests following a 12-game win streak.
"It's going to be nice going home and getting ready for the playoffs," said slugger Miguel Cabrera, who needs two RBIs to reach 100 for the eighth straight season. Cabrera has gone 7 for 20 with two homers and six RBIs as Detroit and Baltimore split six games this season at Camden Yards.
While the Tigers are preparing for the playoffs, they will send out Jacob Turner (0-1, 7.45 ERA) on Thursday in what amounts to a tryout to become part of the 2012 rotation.
An All-Star this season with Double-A Erie, Turner hasn't pitched on the big-league level since Sept. 1. He surrendered six runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings, but didn't factor in Detroit's 11-8 loss to the Royals.
"Being here for the month of September, it makes you more comfortable with everything that goes on with being in the big leagues," Turner told the Tigers' official website. "...Hopefully next year, I can go into spring training and perform well and make them make the tough decision."
Turner lost to the Los Angeles Angels in his major league debut on July 30.
Baltimore (65-90) played the role of spoiler successfully by taking three of four from playoff-hopeful Boston after Wednesday's 6-4 win. That came after the Orioles took two of three from both Tampa Bay and the Angels to alter the AL wild-card landscape.
"This is a good baseball team. The guys are playing hard everyday," said starting pitcher Tommy Hunter. "We're playing good baseball. It's going to be fun, especially if we finish the year like this. It's going to be fun next year."
Though they took two of three last season in Detroit, the Orioles have dropped 13 of their last 19 visits there.
Designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero is hitting .366 (15 for 41) with a homer and six RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak. He's gone 9 for 25 with two homers and eight RBIs against the Tigers this year, and is batting .353 with five homers and 15 RBIs in 28 career games in Comerica Park.
Zach Britton (10-10, 4.28) will try to become the first Baltimore rookie to win 11 games since Daniel Cabrera went 12-8 in 2004.
Britton is 4-1 with a 3.09 ERA in six starts since coming off the disabled list Aug. 22. The left-hander missed nearly three weeks with a strained shoulder.
Britton limited the Angels to a run and three hits with a career-best seven strikeouts in seven innings of a 6-2 win on Sunday.
He has never faced the Tigers.