The Detroit Tigers have allowed their pursuit of a fourth straight AL Central title to go down to the final day of the season, leaving David Price to pitch instead of resting for a potential Game 1 start in the division series.
The former Cy Young winner will try to beat the Minnesota Twins at home on Sunday to help Detroit hold off Kansas City.
The Tigers (89-72) enter game No. 162 with a one-game lead after failing to clinch Saturday with a 12-3 loss to the Twins (70-91), who have won four of five against Detroit.
"We can't do anything about it now," manager Brad Ausmus said. "We've got a game (Sunday) that we've got to win. And I mean, we've got to win."
A third straight loss combined with the Royals' win against the Chicago White Sox would send the Tigers into a 163rd game Monday, which they would host due to a 13-6 season advantage. Both teams have already clinched playoff spots.
Price (14-12, 3.36 ERA) found himself in a similar role last year in a one-game playoff, and the left-hander didn't disappoint, allowing two runs in a complete game to help earn Tampa Bay a wild-card spot over Texas.
"I already got all my work done, so I'm ready to pitch tomorrow," Price told MLB's official website. "The thought process doesn't change. I'll be ready."
Price gets a shot at a third 15-win season in a year that's seen him already log an MLB-high 241 innings. He now figures to post the highest total since 2011 when teammate Justin Verlander threw 251 and James Shields reached 249 1-3. He can also pass Corey Kluber's league-leading 269 strikeouts with seven.
The 29-year-old took a shutout into the ninth inning of Tuesday's 4-3 win over the White Sox before finishing with three runs and eight hits allowed. He struck out eight in 8 2-3 innings and failed to get a decision.
Price is 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA in three starts this season against Minnesota, but he allowed five runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings of an 8-4 loss to the Twins on Sept. 17.
Kurt Suzuki is 5 for 23 with 10 strikeouts against Price, while Joe Mauer is 3 for 20.
Brian Dozier is 4 for 15 with two home runs and has also gone deep in consecutive games in the series. The second baseman has five homers and 18 RBIs in 17 games against Detroit this season.
Minnesota, which has won 70 games for the first time in four years, sends Kyle Gibson to the mound to continue pushing back a Detroit celebration.
Gibson (13-11, 4.50) opened the year with wins in three straight starts and can end on the same streak. The right-hander allowed a run and seven hits while matching a career high with eight strikeouts in Tuesday's 6-3 win over Arizona.
"It's always good to have a good outing and make adjustments," Gibson told MLB's official website. "I've been working hard in the bullpen on fastball command. When it translates into the game, it's always a good thing."
His season against Detroit has been a bit more trying with a 2-2 record and 6.86 ERA in four starts. Miguel Cabrera is 5 for 8 with a home run, and batting title hopeful Victor Martinez is 3 for 9.
Martinez enters the final scheduled day of the season hitting .337, three percentage points behind Houston's Jose Altuve, though a 163rd game could give him additional at-bats. Martinez is batting .400 against Minnesota this season.
Cabrera is also batting .400 with a 17-game hitting streak across the season series.
Detroit could be without outfielder Rajai Davis, who left Saturday night's game with a groin injury.