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News » Garza perfect until 7th as Rays pound Red Sox 13-0

Garza perfect until 7th as Rays pound Red Sox 13-0

Garza perfect until 7th as Rays pound Red Sox 13-0
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - There's no secret to what makes the Tampa Bay Rays go.

Good pitching, timely hitting and solid defense were keys to the team's success a year ago, and they're counting on more of the same to pull themselves out of an early-season funk that has them in the AL East cellar.

"During the course of a long season, you're going to go through bad moments. The important thing is how you handle the bad moments," manager Joe Maddon said Thursday night after the last-place Rays opened a four-game series against the division-leading Boston Red Sox with a 13-0 victory.

"How do you interact while the bad moments are going on. Do you stay together. Is everybody searching for the wrong answers, the wrong reasons. To me, it's about staying with the overall plan and making sure everybody is supportive. I believe if you're good you're going to eventually come out of the bad moments and play well again."

Right-hander Matt Garza took a perfect game into the seventh inning and Evan Longoria drove in four runs with a solo homer and bases-loaded double for Tampa Bay, which has lost six consecutive series for the first time since 2004.

The Red Sox, visiting Tropicana Field for the first time since losing to Garza in Game 7 of last season's AL Championship Series, lost for just the second time in 14 games.

"We've done this a couple of times," said Maddon, whose team struggled offensively while going 3-6 on a road trip to Seattle, Oakland and Minnesota. "We're looking for a carry-over effect."

Garza (2-2) rebounded from losses to the White Sox and Athletics in his previous two starts and didn't allow a baserunner until Jacoby Ellsbury's infield single leading off the seventh inning.

Ellsbury fouled off an 0-2 pitch and took two balls before hitting a squibber past Garza over the mound. The speedy Boston center fielder, who stole home against the Yankees on Sunday, easily beat shortstop Jason Bartlett's throw to first base.

"When it was first hit, it sounded like it was coming off hard," Garza said. "Then I saw it float by. I dove and watched the ball just miss my glove by inches. I'm like: 'Oh, Barty! He almost made a great play."

The crowd of 20,341 gave the pitcher a standing ovation, and the right-hander got back on track by getting Dustin Pedroia to ground into a double play. David Ortiz walked with two outs, but was stranded when Jeff Bailey grounded out.

"I was more upset by the walk than anything else," said Garza, who walked nine in his previous two starts.

The ALCS MVP struck out the first two batters in the eighth before being replaced by Grant Balfour, who finished the one-hitter.

Garza threw 75 of his 108 pitches for strikes, walked one and struck out 10.

"He was about as good as you could get," Boston manager Terry Francona said.

Including a pair of wins over Jon Lester in the ALCS, Garza is 7-1 lifetime against the Red Sox. He also beat them at Fenway Park this season, allowing one run and four hits in seven innings on April 9.

"We've got to try to find a way to figure him out," Pedroia said.

Longoria had a three-run double off Josh Beckett (2-2) in the third and homered off Hunter Jones in the sixth. Michel Hernandez also hit his first career homer off Beckett, who allowed seven runs and 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings.

The Rays have struggled with runners in scoring position. Longoria's double was a breakthrough.

"We've been looking for that. We've been looking for the big hit, the timely hit," the manager said. "We haven't gotten it with any kind of regularity."

Royals 8, Blue Jays 6

At Kansas City, Mo., John Buck tripled twice and drove in five runs, and the Royals tied a club record by turning six double plays.

Buck hit a two-run triple off Brian Burres (0-2) in the second inning, a sacrifice fly in the third and another two-run triple off Bryan Bullington in the fifth. He became the second Royals catcher to collect two triples in a game.

Buck, who also doubled in the eighth, tied a career high with five RBIs and Kyle Davies (2-1) allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings.

Yankees 7, Angels 4

At New York, Melky Cabrera spoiled Angels manager Mike Scioscia's strategy, hitting a tiebreaking single in the eighth that led the Yankees to their third straight win.

After an intentional walk to Nick Swisher loaded the bases with one out, Cabrera hit an RBI single on the first pitch from Justin Speier (0-1) for a 5-4 lead.

Phil Coke (1-1) pitched a perfect eighth for the win. Mariano Rivera worked the ninth for his fifth save in six chances.

Athletics 4, Rangers 2

At Arlington, Texas, Dallas Braden (3-2) pitched five scoreless innings and Ryan Sweeney made a game-saving catch for Oakland.

The Rangers had two on in the eighth when Ian Kinsler hit a towering flyball to straightaway center. Sweeney retreated, leaped and stuck his glove above the wall to make the play.

Michael Wuertz, closing with Brad Ziegler out sick, got his first save.

Matt Holliday hit his first homer with Oakland in the ninth. Landon Powell hit a sac fly off Vicente Padilla (1-2) to break a scoreless tie in the sixth.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 1, 2009

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