Garza, red hot Rays shut out Indians

The Sports Network
7/11/2010 12:52:56 AM
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St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Matt Garza pitched six shutout innings, leading the Tampa Bay Rays to a 4-0 win over the Cleveland Indians in the third of four games at Tropicana Field.

Garza (10-5) yielded just one hit and one walk while fanning two for the Rays, who have won seven of eight. It was the first time since April 18 that the righty went at least six innings without yielding a run, and he's now one win shy of tying his career-high.

Gabe Kapler drove in two runs for Tampa Bay, which has won two of the first three games in this set.

Jhonny Peralta and Matt LaPorta each singled for the Indians, who have lost four of five. Aaron Laffey (1-3) allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks in 5 2/3 frames to receive the loss for Cleveland.

"He pitched OK," said Indians manager Manny Acta on Laffey. "Laffey didn't throw enough strikes, but he made a couple good pitches when he had to. He got a couple double play balls, but he ended up getting hurt by a couple two-out walks. It didn't matter because we didn't score any runs anyway."

The Rays used a two-out rally in the fourth to break a scoreless tie.

Laffey retired Willy Aybar and Kelly Shoppach on groundouts to begin the inning, but issued a walk to Ben Zobrist. Sean Rodriguez followed with a ground-rule double, and Kapler singled up the middle to plate both runners for a 2-0 lead.

In the fifth, Laffey again retired the first two Tampa Bay hitters, but Evan Longoria doubled and scored on Aybar's subsequent single for a three-run cushion.

"I think the biggest story of the night was the two-out runs," Garza said. "It's something we haven't done in the past month and a half -- that clutch hitting. I think tonight was a good testament to grinding through it and trusting my stuff."

Meanwhile, Garza dominated. After issuing a two-out walk to Shelley Duncan in the second, he finished his outing by setting down the next 13 Cleveland hitters without a problem.

Tampa Bay's Grant Balfour ran into some trouble in the seventh, when Peralta drew a two-out walk and was followed by LaPorta's single. After both runners moved up on a wild pitch, Shelley Duncan struck out to end the threat.

The Indians failed to threaten in the final two innings, and Jason Bartlett's bloop double in the eighth accounted for the final margin.

Game Notes

Tampa Bay leads the season series, 4-1...Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner left the game with tightness in his upper back...Bartlett finished with two hits...With two outs in the ninth, Austin Kearns doubled, which extended the Indians' streak of games with an extra-base hit to 36, the longest active streak in the AL.


Matt Garza (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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