It's not inconceivable that the two teams could be fighting each other for the American League's second Wild Card spot.
The White Sox lead the American League Central by 2 1/2 games over the Tigers after beating the Mariners, 4-3, in a game shortened by rain to seven innings Sunday.
The Orioles, whose game Sunday with the Blue Jays was rained out, are tied with the A's for the second Wild Card, three percentage points behind the Rays.
They are a half-game ahead of the Tigers and four games in front of the Angels.
If the White Sox don't manage to hold off theTigers in the Central, they will be in the mix for one of the Wild Card spots.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura understands the importance of the series with the Orioles, who trail the first-place Yankees by 4 1/2 games in the AL East.
"[The Orioles] are a good team," Ventura said Sunday. "We just played the Yankees which is the same thing. It's kind of the same approach."
After the series against the Orioles, the White Sox move on to Detroit for an important series against the Tigers, but Ventura said his team knows it can't get ahead of itself.
"We are past the point of overlooking somebody," Ventura said "Before we look at Detroit, we already realize that Baltimore is a good team and that's where we have to put our focus before anybody thinks about Detroit."
That the White Sox have rebounded to win six straight since getting swept by the Royals is indicative of how a team that hopes to contend must deal with a long season, Ventura said.
"It's a long season," he said. "Again, the team that can just focus on the day-to-day stuff and not get caught up in something that happened yesterday or a week ago, they can put it behind them. You don't like guys to have real good memories with bad stuff. You just want them to remember the good stuff."
Speaking of resilience, Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen and his teammates showed a good deal of it when they overcame a five-run first-inning deficit and came back for a 7-5 victory over the Tigers on Aug. 19.
Chen, who will start Monday and owns a 12-7 ledger with a 3.87 ERA, kept his composure and pulled himself together after the rough first inning.
"This is baseball, you never know what's going to happen," said Chen, who pitched five innings and retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced after getting past the 41-pitch first inning. "You never give up, you just keep fighting."
Chen forced the Orioles' vaunted bullpen to start stirring almost from the beginning of the game, but Luis Ayala, Darren O'Day, Pedro Strop and closer Jim Johnson combined to post four scoreless innings.
Johnson, who is on track to break the Orioles' single-season save record, got his 37th save in that game and has since added two more.
The Orioles' record is held by Randy Myers, who had 45 in 1997.
"There is no doubt they are awesome," Chen said of the relief corps. "After I walked to the dugout, I was thinking, 'I got a win today,' because we have a really good and strong bullpen, and they will save the win for me."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter believes his team is equipped to handle the pressure of a postseason run.
"If you could sit in the dugout for one game, [you'd see] it's a very workmanlike clubhouse," Showalter said. "It's, 'OK, here's what we've got in front of us.'"
The quality of the performances his bullpen regularly delivers is comforting, Showalter said.
"The quality of [relief] pitching, it kind of is momentum," Showalter said. "If you can pitch well, it's the one position you control. Everybody came in and did their job. That chain only works if there's not a weak link in it."
White Sox: Liriano gets the start
Left-hander Francisco Liriano will be the White Sox starter Monday.
Liriano is 5-10 with a 5.12 ERA for the season, but he is 2-0 with a 4.39 ERA since coming to the White Sox in a trade with the Twins on July 29.
Orioles: Johnson leads in quality saves
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Johnson has a Major League-leading 15 "quality saves," defined as one in which the pitcher enters with the tying run in scoring position, or protects a one-run lead for at least one inning.
Pittsburgh's Joel Hanrahan is second with 13 quality saves.
Adam Dunn leads the Majors with 38 home runs and has 87 RBIs despite a batting average of just .204.