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O's fall to Rays, keep hold of 2nd AL Wild Card

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Corey Dickerson's two-out, seventh-inning RBI double off Orioles reliever Mychal Givens was just enough to give Tampa Bay a 7-6 win over Baltimore on Wednesday.

The O's, who have won 11 of 15 games against Tampa Bay, stayed one game up on the Tigers, who lost to the White Sox, 7-4, for the second American League Card spot, but they dropped to 1 1/2 games behind Toronto and Boston in the American League East race as they head to Detroit for a Wild Card-hopeful showdown.

Full Game Coverage

ST. PETERSBURG -- Corey Dickerson's two-out, seventh-inning RBI double off Orioles reliever Mychal Givens was just enough to give Tampa Bay a 7-6 win over Baltimore on Wednesday.

The O's, who have won 11 of 15 games against Tampa Bay, stayed one game up on the Tigers, who lost to the White Sox, 7-4, for the second American League Card spot, but they dropped to 1 1/2 games behind Toronto and Boston in the American League East race as they head to Detroit for a Wild Card-hopeful showdown.

Full Game Coverage

Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier -- who homered in the first inning -- drove in three runs off Orioles starter Dylan Bundy, including a pair of two-out runs that chased the rookie righty in the fourth. Nick Franklin also homered off Bundy in the second, driving in Mikie Mahtook. Bundy went 3 2/3 innings, matching Rays starter Drew Smyly, as both teams went to their bullpens early.

Video: BAL@TB: Dickerson hits an RBI double to left-center

"Really good win today," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "The guys, I'm really impressed with the way they kept coming back. Tough at-bats, we were facing some tough pitching. A lot of guys contributed. Nick Franklin, [Kiermaier] had the big day. Mikie Mahtook helped us a lot offensively."

Video: BAL@TB: Kiermaier ties the game with a two-run single

Orioles outfielder Michael Bourn, acquired last week, homered as part of a three-run third inning off Smyly while shortstop J.J. Hardy doubled in two runs.

"It was challenging coming in here, the last three games. They were playing good baseball. Playing in a venue, you really got to be ready to go. We knew we were going to face good starting pitching and our guys handled it," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of taking two of three games.

Video: BAL@TB: Bourn connects for his first Orioles homer

"Now, we go into another hostile place. I tell our guys to stay focused on how much fun it is to be playing these type of games. Our guys aren't dreading it all. They are looking forward to being in that arena. To being on that stage, because they've earned the right to be there. Lot of clubs would love to change places with us."

Video: 9/7/16: Kiermaier, Dickerson lead Rays past O's

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

KK raking: Kiermaier put the Rays up, 1-0, when he hit the first pitch he saw off Bundy into the right-field stands for his ninth homer of the season. The Rays' center fielder has now hit safely in 11 consecutive games. More >

Video: BAL@TB: Kiermaier crushes a long home run to right

Bundy struggles: The righty, who made his first Major League start in Tampa Bay on July 17, turned in his shortest outing since that debut. Bundy gave up five earned runs on seven hits and two walks.

Video: BAL@TB: Bundy gets chasing strike three in the dirt

"Just battling the whole time, ever since pitch one," Bundy said. "They were fouling off the pitches that were good and hitting the ones that weren't so good, I thought. Just baseball. Got to get better and watch some video on them and get better."

Closing in on Shields: Smyly got a no-decision on Wednesday, which left him unbeaten at 4-0 in his past nine starts. However, the left-hander struggled, lasting just 3 2/3 innings and allowing four earned runs. And once again, he got bit by the home run. Bourn led off the third with his fourth home run of the season and the 30th surrendered by Smyly in 2016. Smyly is now four homers away from tying James Shields' club record of 34, set in 2010.

Video: BAL@TB: Smyly strikes out Jones in the 4th inning

"I think the home runs have been a dramatic difference for our whole pitching staff," Cash said. "[Pitching coach Jim Hickey] Hick and I were talking on the bench. I mean, home runs and walks are up. We really have to prevent the walks. The home runs, if they come with nobody on base, you can manage them a little bit."

O's bats go cold: Baltimore had one hit the final four innings as the bats went cold down the stretch. It was a good opportunity, though, for new Orioles Bourn and Drew Stubbs to show what they can do.

Video: BAL@TB: Stubbs singles home Schoop in the 5th

"It was good. I'd rather have it in a winning cause," Bourn said of his first Orioles homer. "That's always my main focus. I was able to catch one today, but especially when you're in a pennant race, I'd rather win. That's just how it goes."

QUOTABLE
"We've got 11 games versus three really good teams, so try and win this road trip and have a good time. We're just playing for pride and just playing for the love of the game. And, you know, it's fun coming to the field every day playing with these guys." -- Kiermaier, on the Rays' upcoming road trip with stops in New York, Toronto, and Baltimore

Video: BAL@TB: Kiermaier makes a leaping catch at the track

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Mahtook had three hits, his most since tying the club record with five last September, also against the Orioles. Since snapping an 0-for-34 skid that was tied for the fourth-longest in club history, he has recorded seven hits in his past 11 at-bats.

WHAT'S NEXT
Orioles: Kevin Gausman will get the ball for Friday's series opener in Detroit at 7:10 p.m. ET on a 19-inning scoreless streak. The 25-year-old hasn't allowed a run in any of his last three starts, all wins -- one over the Nationals and two over the Yankees.

Rays: Alex Cobb (0-0, 3.60 ERA) makes his second start of the season since returning from Tommy John surgery as the Rays begin a four-game series against the Yankees in New York at 7:05 p.m. ET on Thursday. The right-hander pitched well Friday against the Blue Jays when he got a five-inning no-decision that showcased some of his talents.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Michael Bourn, Dylan Bundy, Corey Dickerson, Nick Franklin, J.J. Hardy, Kevin Kiermaier