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Longoria hits 3 HRs, Rays drop O's to wild card

By Fred Goodall

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 3 2012 8:10 p.m. MDT

Baltimore Orioles' Adam Jones blows a bubble as he bats against Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Chris O'Meara, Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Evan Longoria homered three times and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Baltimore 4-1 Wednesday, ending the Orioles' bid to force a one-game tiebreaker for the AL East title.

The loss left the Orioles as a wild-card team. They'll play Friday at Texas, with the winner advancing to the division series.

Baltimore began the day one game behind the New York Yankees in the division. The Orioles needed a win, plus a loss by the Yankees to Boston, to pull even.

Longoria finished the season with a bang for the second straight year, hitting solo shots off Chris Tillman in the first and fourth innings and adding another solo shot off Jake Arrieta in the sixth.

With a chance to tie the major league record, Longoria grounded out in the eighth.

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