August 25, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Seth Smith (15) hits a home run in the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

A's Vs. Rays: Tampa Bay Falls To Oakland, 4-2

The Rays and Athletics are starting a three-game series, and the winner of this set will take possession of the top Wild Card spot.

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Rays Vs. A's: Tampa Bay Falls 4-2, Loses Hold Of Top AL Wild Card Spot

The Tampa Bay Rays lost to the Oakland Athletics 4-2 this afternoon at Tropicana Field in a game that would have given them the lead in the American League Wild Card standings.

The winning pitcher was Oakland’s Brandon McCarthy, who pitched 7 innings, giving up four hits and two earned runs. Jeremy Hellickson earned the loss for the Rays after giving up four earned runs over 5 innings. Grant Balfour earned the save for Oakland.

The Rays struggled at the batter’s box on the afternoon with Tampa’s two runs coming off of a solo Desmond Jennings home run in the fifth and a Jose Lobaton sacrifice fly in the second, which scored Luke Scott.

Oakland, on the other hand, jumped out to a 3-0 lead after a hot first inning. Seth Smith scored on a solo home run in the third to extend the Oakland lead.

On Monday, the Rays play the AL West-leading Texas Rangers in Arlington at 8:05 ET.

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