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Trey Mancini first Oriole rookie with 20 home run season since Cal Ripken Jr.

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USA TODAY Sports

Trey Mancini first Oriole rookie with 20 home run season since Cal Ripken Jr.

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Trey Mancini wasn't assured a spot on the Baltimore Orioles' roster in spring training.

He's making his opportunity count.

Mancini homered twice, Wade Miley pitched seven innings of three-hit ball and the Orioles slugged four home runs in a 7-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night.

MORE ORIOLES: ORIOLES NICKNAME JERSEYS ARE DUDS

Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo each added solo blasts.

The Orioles have won nine of their last 13 games.

Mancini had three hits and now has 20 home runs for the season.

"I don't know if it's unexpected," Mancini said. "Not knowing where I was going to be this year, I just really try not to take any time for granted here and trying to help this team win some games."

Miley (6-9) struck out seven, walked three and allowed one unearned run.

The left-hander said he's leaning on a curveball he started "spiking," on the recommendation of Orioles reliever Chris Tillman.

"I'm trying to get a pitch that I can use to get ahead with and I'm actually able to put away guys with," Miley said. "It's something I really haven't done much in my career with a curveball, but it's good hopefully I can keep it going."

A's starter Chris Smith (0-2) went six innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, including all four home runs.

The 36-year-old, who last month became the oldest player in franchise history to make his first career start, has given up at least one home run in six outings, including five starts.

"All my starts are tough, but that lineup is deadly," Smith said.

"Man, they just kept on attacking. They made the adjustment on my mistakes, and they hit them. They hit them hard and far."

The Orioles broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth when Jones and Mancini hit back-to-back home runs leading off the inning.

Mancini and Trumbo homered with nobody aboard in consecutive at-bats in the sixth.

Jones' home run was his 21st. Trumbo's 18th snapped a 0-for-24 slump.

Tim Beckham had two hits, including a triple, extending his hitting streak to all 10 games since the Orioles acquired him in a July 31 deadline trade with the Tampa Bay Rays. He's batting .500 (20 for 40) with his new team.

Orioles catcher Wellington Castillo had a double in the fourth inning that extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

Jed Lowrie had two hits and two RBIs for Oakland, which has lost five of its last seven games.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter summoned closer Zach Britton to face Lowrie after Oakland loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth.

Joey Rickard made a running catch in right field to retire Lowrie as Britton notched his 10th save.

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Wade Miley roughed up again, Orioles shut out in St. Pete

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USA Today Sports

Wade Miley roughed up again, Orioles shut out in St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison homered Friday night and the Tampa Bay Rays clinched third place in the AL East with a 7-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Longoria led off the fifth with his 20th homer off Baltimore starter Wade Miley, marking Longoria's fifth straight 20-homer season and the ninth of his 10-year career.

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Morrison hit his 38th homer off reliever Chris Tillman in the seventh.

Rays starter Jake Odorizzi left his final start of the season after four innings with a sore right knee.

Brad Boxberger (4-4) got the win as the first of four Tampa Bay relievers.

Miley (8-15) lost his fifth straight start, giving up four runs and five hits in four innings. He walked five, raising his major league-leading total to 93. The Baltimore bullpen gave up five more walks.

Trey Mancini had one of Baltimore's four hits. It was Mancini's 158th hit, tying Cal Ripken (1982) for second-place all-time among Oriole rookies.

The Orioles, shut out for the 11th time, lost for the 17th time in 21 games and dropped three games behind Tampa Bay with two games left in the season.

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MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with three days left

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USA TODAY Sports

MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with three days left

With the MLB postseason only five days away and three more days in the regular season the playoff field is almost set.

After Thursday night’s action, the St. Louis Cardinals were eliminated from the second Wild Card spot in the National League. Their 2-1 loss to the Cubs put them too far out of reach of the Rockies.

In the American League the AL East race is all but done after the Yankees lost on Thursday.

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AMERICAN LEAGUE

Not too many changes in the American League race after yesterday.

The New York Yankees (89-70) lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 9-6 at home after entering the day only three games back in the division. While the Boston Red Sox (92-67) lost too, three games to surpass is too much for even the Bronx Bombers to overcome.

It will be interesting though to watch both teams sweat. Boston hosts the Houston Astros who are trying to overtake the Indians for the top seed in the AL. New York hosts division rivals Toronto.

The Minnesota Twins (83-76) lost to the Indians after allowing 10 hits in the contest. Win or lose it does not matter how they end the season because they will be the No. 5 seed and the visitors in the American League Wild Card Game. Presumably it will be against the Yankees.

AL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

New York Yankees:     +6.0 
Minnesota Twins:           ---
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Colorado was off on Thursday night in preparation for their final series of the year against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Milwaukee Brewers (84-75) did manage to gain a half game with their nail biting 4-3 win over the Reds. Brett Phillips hit a go-ahead double in the sixth inning and the final three frames remained scoreless for both squads.

They now move to two games back of the Colorado Rockies (86-73) with three games to go.

Colorado will host their final series against the Dodgers. Milwaukee is traveling to the St. Louis Cardinals (82-77) for their final three games. St. Louis is now out of contention, four games out of the final Wild Card spot.

FanGraphs.com now has Colorado at a 93.3 percent chance of taking the final postseason spot.  Milwaukee moved up slightly to 6.7 percent.

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NL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

#4 Arizona Diamondbacks:  +6.0
Colorado Rockies:                   ---
Milwaukee Brewers:              -2.0