Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Orioles vs. Rays: Tampa Bay gets wraps up season tonight against Baltimore

The Tampa Bay Rays will finish their 2012 season tonight against the Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore could still win the AL East, but they'll need to defeat the Rays in order to do so.

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10 Total Updates since October 1, 2012
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Evan Longoria hits 3 home runs in win over Orioles

Evan Longoria led Tampa Bay past Baltimore, hitting three home runs.

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Longoria starts at 3B for Rays on Tuesday

Despite being eliminated from playoff contention, the Tampa Bay Rays are putting their best foot forward on Tuesday night, as they look to spoil the Baltimore Orioles' chances of capturing the AL East crown.

Evan Longoria will start at third base Tuesday night when the Rays take the field for the second-to-last time at Tropicana Field in 2012. On Monday, Rays manager Joe Maddon said that it would be up to Longoria to decide if he'd want to play or rest if the Rays were eliminated.

Maddon told the media on Tuesday that the club will play the game straight up -- including using Fernando Rodney if a save situation arises.

Both Maddon and Buck Showalter announced the starting lineups, and they are as follows:

Baltimore Orioles

LF Nate McLouth
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Chris Davis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
DH Jim Thome
1B Mark Reynolds
2B Ryan Flaherty
3B Manny Machado

SP Miguel Gonzalez

Tampa Bay Rays

LF Desmond Jennings
CF B.J. Upton
SS Ben Zobrist
3B Evan Longoria
1B Jeff Keppinger
RF Matt Joyce
2B Ryan Roberts
DH Luke Scott
C Chris Gimenez

SP James Shields

First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

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Rays top Orioles to keep playoff hopes alive

Alex Cobb allowed a run in seven innings for Tampa Bay, and the Rays picked up a 5-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

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Rays lead Orioles through 5 innings

In a must-win game against the Baltimore Orioles, the Tampa Bay Rays hold a slim 1-0 advantage through five innings. Shortstop Ben Zobrist hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to put the Rays on top at Tropicana Field.

Tampa Bay (88-71) entered Monday three games back of the Oakland Athletics (91-68) for the American League's final wild card spot. Both teams have three games remaining, so the Rays will have to win out and hope the Athletics are swept in their final series. The Los Angeles Angels are also three games behind the A's in the wild card race. Oakland plays later Monday night.

Alex Cobb has pitched well for Tampa Bay, allowing just one hit and one walk in the first five frames. Cobb has struck out five.

The Orioles (92-67) have already clinched a playoff berth and are tied with the New York Yankees atop the AL East. New York hosts Boston for its final regular-season series.

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Rays' Longoria could sit final two games

If the Tampa Bay Rays are eliminated after Monday night, Rays manager Joe Maddon may decide to rest his superstar third baseman the last two games of the season.

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Rays, Orioles Monday lineups

Alex Cobb will start for the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night, as they play host to the playoff-bound Baltimore Orioles.

Cobb can ill afford a hiccup, as the Rays need to sweep the Orioles, and need the Texas Rangers to sweep the Oakland A's just to qualify for a 163rd game to determine the last wild card spot.

Both Joe Maddon and Buck Showalter have announced the starting lineups for Monday's contest, and they are as follows:

Baltimore Orioles

LF Nate McLouth
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Chris Davis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
DH Jim Thome
1B Mark Reynolds
2B Ryan Flaherty
3B Manny Machado

SP Wei-Yin Chen

Tampa Bay Rays

LF Desmond Jennings
CF B.J. Upton
SS Ben Zobrist
3B Evan Longoria
1B Jeff Keppinger
DH Ben Francisco
RF Sam Fuld
2B Ryan Roberts
C Chris Gimenez

SP Alex Cobb

Unfortunately for the Rays, the Orioles also have something to play for, as Baltimore enters Monday tied with the New York Yankees atop the AL East. Winning the division has never been more advantageous, since the wild card teams will square off in a do-or-die one game playoff on Friday.

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