ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Evan Longoria hit three of Tampa Bay's four solo homers Wednesday to bring the Rays a 4-1 win over Baltimore that left the Orioles as a wild card playoff team.
Baltimore needed a win over Tampa Bay to have any chance of tying the division-champion New York Yankees in the American League East.
The Orioles will now take on Texas in a one-game wild card playoff Friday beginning at 8:37 p.m. EDT. Texas and Baltimore finished with the same record (93-69), but the Rangers will host the playoff contest by virtue of their 5-2 record against the Orioles this season. The winner of that game will then meet New York in a best-of-five series.
Longoria hit his home runs in the first, fourth and sixth innings to give him 17 for the season and Ryan Roberts added a solo blast in the fourth.
Five Tampa Bay pitchers combined to give up three hits and a lone ninth-inning run. Jeremy Hellickson (10-11) got the win with 5 1/3 innings of work, during which he surrendered one hit and struck out six.
Fernando Rodney came on with a run in, a runner on first and two away in the ninth and recorded the final out for his 48th save. He finished the season ranked second in that department -- three behind Baltimore's Jim Johnson.
Three of the four Toronto home runs came off Chris Tillman (9-3), who went five innings to take the loss.
Tampa Bay finished at 90-72, the best record among the 20 teams in the majors not to make the playoffs.