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Preview: Orioles (7-7) at Rays (7-9)
Analysis  ·  BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 3
Venue: Tropicana Field
Date: October 03, 2012 7:10 PM EDT
  

The Baltimore Orioles have done just about all they can to stay in contention for the AL East title.

Their efforts still may not be enough, but being home for the wild-card game isn't the worst consolation.

With a division title still a possibility, the Orioles hope to win their regular-season finale Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays and at least secure home-field advantage for the wild-card game.

Baltimore continued its improbable season Tuesday with a 1-0 victory over the Rays to remain one game behind the East-leading Yankees. Although they managed only two hits and struck out 15 times against James Shields, the Orioles (93-68) got another homer from Chris Davis to win for the 12th time in 16 games.

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A one-game tiebreaker for the division title Thursday at Camden Yards would be the result if the Orioles win and the Yankees lose to Boston. Wins by both New York and Baltimore would send the Orioles home for the wild-card playoff Friday against the loser of Wednesday's Texas-Oakland matchup.

"We're not supposed to be here. So just go out and have fun and see what happens," closer Jim Johnson said after recording his major league-best 51st save.

Davis joined Reggie Jackson (1976) as the only players in team history to homer in six straight games. He has seven home runs and 13 RBIs during that span.

"It kind of blows my mind to even be mentioned in the same breath as Reggie, but it's more about the win than anything else," Davis said. "I'm kind of glad to be the guy that's coming through in this situation, but as long as we get the win I don't care."

Baltimore hasn't done much offensively in this series, totaling four runs and eight hits while striking out 25 times. But it has hit three home runs, increasing its total to 17 in the last six games.

As part of the Orioles' unheralded rotation, Chris Tillman (9-2, 2.78 ERA) has played the role of ace over the past three months.

One of many reasons for the team's stunning turnaround from 93 losses in 2011, Tillman has already exceeded the seven games he won in 36 starts over his previous three major league seasons.

He was outstanding again Friday in a 9-1 win over Boston, yielding one hit - a bunt single to the game's first batter - and one unearned run over eight innings. The right-hander walked two, struck out four and retired the final 14 batters he faced.

"I feel like I'm confident in my delivery, and when you have confidence in that, things will play out well for you," Tillman said. "I just got to take it pitch-by-pitch and not get too worried about the next inning or the next game."

Tillman pitched six strong innings in a 6-2 win over the Rays (89-72) on July 26 after going 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA in his first five starts against them.

Tuesday's loss was only the Rays' second in 13 games overall but their sixth in the last seven meetings with the Orioles. Tampa Bay has scored 11 runs and batted .185 in those seven contests.

Jeremy Hellickson (9-11, 3.20) will try to help the Rays reach 90 wins for the third consecutive season when he faces Baltimore for the sixth time this year.

The right-hander is 1-2 in those matchups despite posting a 2.83 ERA. He tossed five scoreless innings at Camden Yards on Sept. 13 before Tampa Bay lost in 14 innings.

Hellickson has been unable to pitch deep into games lately, going four straight starts without completing six innings. He gave up three runs and a season high-tying nine hits over 5 2-3 frames during a 3-1 loss to the White Sox on Friday.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Orioles at Rays
Mon, Oct 1 Final 3 to 5
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 2
Orioles at Rays
Tue, Oct 2 Final 1 to 0
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 3
Orioles at Rays
Wed, Oct 3 Final 1 to 4
 Boxscores    Recaps

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 BAL  -120   +130   7 
 TAM  +110   -150   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 BAL  -120   +130   7 
 TAM  +110   -150   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 BAL  72%   97%   42% 
 TAM  28%   3%   58% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 MLB HEAD TO HEAD
 Oct 2, 2012  Score  ATS Results 
 BAL 1 Cover: +133 
 TAM 0 Under: 1 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Oct 1, 2012  Score  ATS Results 
 BAL 3 Over: 8 
 TAM 5 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps

 MLB PREVIEWS
 Wednesday, Oct 3
 
    Braves at Pirates
12:35 PM EDT
    Phillies at Nationals
1:05 PM EDT
    Astros at Cubs
2:20 PM EDT
    Rangers at Athletics
3:35 PM EDT
    Mets at Marlins
4:10 PM EDT
    Angels at Mariners
6:40 PM EDT
    Red Sox at Yankees
7:05 PM EDT
    Twins at Blue Jays
7:05 PM EDT
    White Sox at Indians
7:05 PM EDT
    Rockies at Diamondbacks
7:10 PM EDT
    Orioles at Rays
7:10 PM EDT
    Giants at Dodgers
7:15 PM EDT
    Tigers at Royals
8:10 PM EDT
    Padres at Brewers
8:10 PM EDT
    Reds at Cardinals
8:15 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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