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Patrick Semansky, Associated Press
Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie throws against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning of a baseball game on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011, in Baltimore.

BALTIMORE — The Tampa Bay Rays missed an opportunity to gain ground in the wild-card race, getting only three hits over seven innings against Jeremy Guthrie in a 6-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night.

After watching Boston lose to Toronto in an afternoon game, the Rays took the field with a chance to close within three games of the Red Sox in the AL wild-card hunt.

Instead, Tampa Bay lost its second straight to the last-place Orioles.

Next up for the Rays: Four games against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, beginning Thursday night. Tampa Bay swept a three-game series from Boston last weekend and is 9-5 against the Red Sox, including 4-1 on the road.