The Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians finished the 162-game MLB regular-season slate with the best records among all non-division winners in their respective leagues.
Up until last year, that would have been enough to secure each squad a spot in the division series of the playoffs as its league's wild card team.
But under the current system, a second wild card team from each league makes it to the postseason for a one-game playoff game, with the winners then advancing to the divisional series.
The Pirates passed the test Tuesday night with a 6-2 win over Cincinnati -- which had finished the regular season four games behind Pittsburgh after being swept by the Pirates the previous weekend. Pittsburgh will face St. Louis in the National League division series starting Thursday.