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Rays Shut Out, Still Waiting To Clinch

St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Brian Matusz turned in seven scoreless innings and Nick Markakis drove in a pair of runs as Baltimore put a damper on Tampa Bay's playoff-clinching hopes with a 4-0 victory in the opener of a three-game set at Tropicana Field.

Tampa Bay remained a half-game ahead of the Yankees in the AL East, after they lost in Toronto.

Luke Scott added two hits and knocked in a run and Ty Wigginton posted an RBI for the Orioles, who snapped a four-game slide.

Matusz (9-12) scattered three hits, fanned eight and walked two en route to his fifth straight victory.

Wade Davis (12-10) took the loss after yielding seven hits and three runs over 6 1/3 frames for the Rays, who needed just one victory or a Boston loss in order to clinch a playoff berth. The Red Sox beat the White Sox Monday night.

The Orioles snapped a scoreless tie in the fifth and gave Matusz all the run support he needed. Cesar Izturis doubled with one out, and after Brian Roberts fanned, Markakis slugged an RBI triple.

Baltimore went up 4-0 in the seventh. Felix Pie led off with a base hit, then Izturis was plunked. Roberts lined out and Davis was spelled by Randy Choate, who immediately gave up an RBI single to Markakis, who moved to second when Rays catcher Kelly Shoppach mishandled the throw home. Chad Qualls came on but Wigginton lofted a sacrifice fly to center and Scott finished the rally with a run-scoring single.

Matusz turned aside Tampa in order during the home half to complete his outing. Jim Johnson and Koji Uehara followed suit with scoreless relief innings to end the contest.

Game Notes

The Rays still lead the season series, 10-6...Matusz hasn't lost a start since August 14 at Tampa...Prior to the game, Major League Baseball handed down two suspensions and undisclosed fines to the Orioles for actions during Sunday's game in Toronto...O's hurler Alfredo Simon was given a three-game ban but is appealing, while manager Buck Showalter served his one-game penalty Monday night.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.