Garza gets 1st win since no-hitter, Rays top Texas

Posted: 18/08/2010 in MLB

Crawford, Longoria highlight Rays’ rout of Rangers

Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria each had three  hits  and drove in three  to back a strong  start by Matt Garza, as the Rays routed the Rangers, 10-1, in the middle contest of a three-game set.

Crawford  finished a  double shy of the cycle, slamming a two-run homer, while Longoria  had a  double and triple. The  Rays totaled 15 hits, seven for extra bases.

It  was  plenty of support  for Garza (12-7), who  struck out a season-high 10 over  seven shutout innings. The right-hander allowed five hits and walked two for  the Rays,  who have won four in  a row and remained tied with the Yankees atop the AL East. New York beat Detroit on Tuesday.

Tommy  Hunter (9-2) gave  up four runs in three-plus innings and took the loss for the AL West-leading Rangers, who have lost six of nine.

Hunter  threw only  52  of his  83  pitches  for strikes,  and  the Rays  took advantage  of his location struggles and deep counts in the first inning. With one  away,  Hunter walked Ben  Zobrist on four  pitches, missing both high and low.  A passed  ball  allowed Zobrist  to  move to  second  before Hunter  and Crawford  engaged  in a nine-pitch at-bat  that ended with Crawford ripping an outside  curve to  right field. Vladimir Guerrero couldn’t make the catch near the wall, allowing Zobrist to score and Crawford to reach third.

Longoria  followed by crushing a first-pitch fastball to the left-center field gap,  and  he raced around to  third as the Rays  took a 2-0 lead. Carlos Pena came  up next and, on the eighth pitch of that at-bat, pulled an inside cutter down the right field line for a double.

The  score  remained  3-0 until  the  bottom  of  the  fourth, when  the  Rays capitalized  on a  few odd plays to  add two more runs. With Jason Bartlett on first  after a  leadoff  single and  Matt  Harrison on  the  mound, John  Jaso attempted  a bunt,  but had  the ball  pop  into the  air on  the right  side. Bartlett paused on the basepath to make sure the ball would fall, but collided with Rangers second baseman Andres Blanco once he resumed running.

Both  runners were  safe, and  Harrison  nearly got  out of  the inning  after retiring the next two batters. But when Longoria hit a ball to shallow center, Julio  Borbon had the ball carom off his glove as he attempted a diving catch. Bartlett and Jaso scored to make it a 5-0 game.

Garza  continued  to shut down Texas,  finishing his outing by working a 1-2-3 seventh,  and Tampa Bay blew the game wide open in the bottom half. With Pedro Strop  pitching, B.J.  Upton doubled  with one  out and  scored on  Bartlett’s single.  Later in  the  inning,  Zobrist hit  a  two-run  single and  Crawford followed with a two-run homer down the right field line.

David Murphy’s RBI single in the eighth provided the Rangers’ lone run.

– Stephen (DS LLC.)

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