Tampa Bay at Toronto

Scoreboard
Tampa Bay (44-35) «101001010490
Toronto (41-38)010000000180

Garza riddles Blue Jays as Rays win seventh straight

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Right from the first pitch, the Tampa Bay Rays had their power stroke going.

B.J. Upton homered to leadoff the game, Carl Crawford and Willy Aybar added solo shots and the Rays won their seventh consecutive game Tuesday night, 4-1 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

"We really lived by the long ball," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We didn't have to do the speed game today."

The Rays finished June with a team-record 41 homers and are the only squad in the major leagues with more than 100 homers (105) and 100 steals (121).

Matt Garza (6-5) allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings, walked three and struck out three to win consecutive starts for the first time since April 30 and May 5.

"Garza struggled a little bit with command," Maddon said. "But overall, his stuff is so good he was able to fight through some moments." Garza is 4-2 with a 0.60 ERA in his past six starts against the Blue Jays. The right-hander is 2-2 with a 0.91 ERA in four career starts in Toronto but was at a loss to explain his dominance against Toronto.

"I'd love to be this stingy in any ballpark also," Garza said. "There's no answer."

J.P. Howell worked the ninth for his sixth save.

Upton hit his second career leadoff homer, drilling the first pitch from Scott Richmond over the wall in left-center for his seventh home run.

"I was just looking for a pitch to hit, ready to hit right from the first pitch," Upton said. "I got a pitch I liked and hit it out of the ballpark."

The Blue Jays tied it in the second when Scott Rolen singled to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 18 games and scored when Lyle Overbay grounded into a double play.

Crawford put the Rays in front to stay in the third with a one-out home run, his eighth of the year.

"It was a slider down and in," Crawford said. "He struck me out with it in the first inning and I was able to stay on it for the home run."

Aybar made it 3-1 with a leadoff shot in the sixth, his seventh.

Richmond allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings. He walked five and struck out seven.

Ben Zobrist capped Tampa Bay's scoring with a sacrifice fly in the eighth off reliever Jesse Carlson.

Toronto has scored only six runs in its past four games, all losses, the first time this season they've lost four straight at home. The Blue Jays are .138 (4 for 29) with runners in scoring position in that stretch, leaving manager Cito Gaston pondering changes to his batting order.

"Some of the guys are hitting but the guys that we need to drive in runs are not swinging the bats at all," Gaston said. "We'll think about doing something [Wednesday], trying to get guys in the right spots."

The Blue Jays never mounted much of a threat in this one. Rolen grounded into a fielder's choice with runners at first and second to end the third and Vernon Wells flied out to end the fifth, stranding runners at second and third.

Garza left after Aaron Hill's leadoff walk in the seventh and Wells followed with a single against Chad Bradford. Hill took third on Rolen's fly out before Randy Choate came on and struck out Adam Lind, then got Overbay to fly to left. Overbay is hitless in 13 at-bats and Wells is stuck in a 2 for 19 slump.

Notes

  • Rays 3B Evan Longoria, who missed time with a tight left hamstring earlier this month, was held out of the starting lineup but pinch-hit in the eighth and flied out.
  • Blue Jays closer Scott Downs, out since June 18 with a sore toe, threw off the bullpen mound and will try fielding drills in the coming days, Gaston said. Downs is eligible to come off the DL Friday when the Blue Jays open a three-game series at New York.
  • Toronto rookie LHP Brett Cecil made his first career relief appearance in the ninth.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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B.J. Upton, who begins the game with a leadoff HR, is congratulated by Carl Crawford, who also goes yard. (AP)
B.J. Upton, who begins the game with a leadoff HR, is congratulated by Carl Crawford, who also goes yard. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

W. Aybar
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
Tampa Bay

M. Garza
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 3
K 3
 

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Tampa Bay Rays
B.J. Upton, CF4111111 .247
Carl Crawford, LF5121012 .321
Willy Aybar, 3B5231000 .287
Carlos Pena, 1B5010012 .237
Ben Zobrist, 2B1011200 .290
Pat Burrell, DH2000212 .230
Gabe Gross, RF2000111 .282
   a- Evan Longoria, PH1000001 .301
    Gabe Kapler, RF0000000 .250
Jason Bartlett, SS4010025 .366
Dioner Navarro, C3000112 .212
Totals3249478  
a-flied out for Gross in the 8th
Batting
2B - Carlos Pena (17, Carlson), Jason Bartlett (16, Richmond)
HR - B.J. Upton (7, Richmond), Carl Crawford (8, Richmond), Willy Aybar (7, Richmond)
SF - Ben Zobrist (1)
RBI - B.J. Upton (31), Carl Crawford (38), Willy Aybar (25), Ben Zobrist (46)
CS - Carl Crawford (7, 2nd base by Richmond/Chavez)
PK - Ben Zobrist (2, Richmond)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Gabe Gross 1
DP - Zobrist-Bartlett-Pena
Tampa Bay Rays
Matt Garza (W,6-5) 7711330 3.45
Chad Bradford (H,1) 0.1100000 5.40
Randy Choate (H,2) 0.2000010 1.46
J.P. Howell (S,6) 1000100 1.63
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Garza 111-66, Chad Bradford 4-3, Randy Choate 9-6, J.P. Howell 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Garza 8-8, J.P. Howell 2-1
Batters Faced - Matt Garza 29, Chad Bradford 2, Randy Choate 2, J.P. Howell 4
Toronto Blue Jays
Marco Scutaro, SS3000202 .279
Aaron Hill, 2B3020110 .305
Vernon Wells, CF4010004 .248
Scott Rolen, 3B4110003 .331
Adam Lind, DH4020012 .312
Lyle Overbay, 1B4000012 .264
Alex Rios, RF4010000 .263
Russ Adams, LF3000011 .200
   a- Jose Bautista, PH0000100 .252
Raul Chavez, C3010000 .271
   b- Rod Barajas, PH1000001 .266
Totals3318044  
a-walked for R. Adams in the 9th
b-flied out for Chavez in the 9th
Batting
2B - Aaron Hill (13, Garza)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Overbay-Scutaro
Toronto Blue Jays
Scott Richmond (L,6-5) 7633573 3.69
Jesse Carlson 0.1211100 5.20
Brandon League 1000110 5.45
Brett Cecil 0.2100000 5.09
IBB - Burrell by Jesse Carlson
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Richmond 107-59, Jesse Carlson 18-9, Brandon League 13-7, Brett Cecil 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Richmond 8-3, Brandon League 1-1
Batters Faced - Scott Richmond 29, Jesse Carlson 4, Brandon League 4, Brett Cecil 3
Game Information
Attendance - 15477
Game Time - 3:07
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Mike Estabrook, First Base - Adrian Johnson, Second Base - Jim Joyce, Third Base - Bill Miller