|Tampa Bay (93-61) «||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||3||x||9||12||0|
Garza allowed one run over seven innings and division-leading Tampa Bay beat the Seattle Mariners 9-1 on Saturday night.
Matt Joyce and B.J. Upton homered for the Rays, who moved 1 ½ games ahead of the New York Yankees. Tampa Bay, bidding for its second division title in three years, has a magic number of two (any combination of Rays wins or Boston losses) to clinch a playoff berth.
"We know what we're after," manager Joe Maddon said. "It's fun to watch. The way we're going about business right now, I couldn't be happier."
The Rays hold the tiebreaker if they finish the regular season tied with New York. Tampa Bay has won four straight, while the Yankees have lost four in a row.
Garza (15-9) allowed eight hits, struck out five and walked none. He was 0-2 with a 10.93 ERA in his previous three starts.
"He definitely set the tone," Maddon said. "Stayed in his delivery better. Commanded the strike zone better."
Garza joined David Price (18-6) as the only pitchers in franchise history to have 15 or more wins in a season
"It's a special year," Garza said.
Joyce hit a two-run drive during a four-run first. Upton had a seventh-inning solo shot and added an RBI triple during a three-run eighth.
"I think the best thing is just us winning and our lineup producing," Rays catcher John Jaso said. "Not really like being ahead of other teams and all that stuff. We want to be playing up to our full capabilities going into the postseason."
Franklin Gutierrez singled home a run in the sixth for the Mariners, running his team-best total to 60 RBI.
Seattle dropped to 23-54 on the road and has lost seven of eight against Tampa Bay in the season series.
Fister allowed four runs and five hits in six innings.
"I thought after the damage was done he did a nice job of keeping it there," Mariners interim manager Daren Brown said.
Garza induced an inning-ending double play from Gutierrez with two on in the first and got Ichiro Suzuki to hit a two-out grounder with a runner on third in the fifth.
Upton's homer and a run-scoring single by Carl Crawford extended Tampa Bay's advantage to 6-1 in the seventh.
Seattle left fielder Mike Carp left in the fifth with a strained right arch. He was hurt while running the bases on a double.
|Matt Garza allows only one run in seven innings to lead the Rays past the Mariners. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Ichiro Suzuki, RF||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.315|
|Chone Figgins, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||.258|
|Jose Lopez, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.238|
|Franklin Gutierrez, CF||4||0||2||1||0||0||1||.250|
|Casey Kotchman, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.217|
|Adam Moore, C||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.188|
|Matt Mangini, DH||4||0||2||0||0||1||1||.333|
|Mike Carp, LF||2||0||1||0||0||1||1||.189|
|Greg Halman, PR-LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Josh Wilson, SS||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.234|
|2B - Chone Figgins (18, Garza), Mike Carp (2, Garza)|
|RBI - Franklin Gutierrez (60)|
|SB - Chone Figgins (42, 3rd base off Garza/Jaso), Franklin Gutierrez (24, 2nd base off Garza/Jaso)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Doug Fister (L,6-13)||6||5||4||4||1||4||1||3.91|
|HBP - Hawpe (by Doug Fister)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Doug Fister 101-59, Garrett Olson 21-15, Chris Seddon 17-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Doug Fister 4-10, Chris Seddon 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Doug Fister 25, Garrett Olson 6, Chris Seddon 7|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|John Jaso, C||5||2||2||0||0||0||1||.269|
|Ben Zobrist, 2B||5||1||1||1||0||1||2||.247|
|Carl Crawford, LF||4||1||3||1||0||0||0||.309|
|Dan Johnson, 3B||2||0||0||1||0||1||1||.220|
|a- Sean Rodriguez, PH-3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.253|
|Matt Joyce, RF||4||2||2||2||0||0||0||.237|
|Carlos Pena, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.198|
|Brad Hawpe, DH||3||1||1||1||0||2||0||.246|
|B.J. Upton, CF||3||2||2||2||1||0||0||.239|
|Reid Brignac, SS||4||0||1||1||0||0||2||.267|
|a-flied out for Johnson in the 7th|
|2B - John Jaso 2 (18, Fister, Olson), Ben Zobrist (27, Fister), Matt Joyce (15, Seddon)|
|3B - B.J. Upton (4, Seddon)|
|HR - Matt Joyce (10, Fister), B.J. Upton (18, Olson)|
|SF - Dan Johnson (3)|
|RBI - Ben Zobrist (74), Carl Crawford (87), Dan Johnson (22), Matt Joyce 2 (38), Brad Hawpe (44), B.J. Upton 2 (59), Reid Brignac (44)|
|2-OUT RBI - Carl Crawford (27)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Zobrist-Brignac-Pena, Zobrist-Pena|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Matt Garza (W,15-9)||7||8||1||1||0||5||0||3.92|
|Pitches-Strikes - Matt Garza 92-64, Randy Choate 3-2, Dan Wheeler 19-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Garza 5-9, Dan Wheeler 2-3|
|Batters Faced - Matt Garza 27, Randy Choate 1, Dan Wheeler 6|
|Attendance - 26427|
|Game Time - 2:25|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - Ted Barrett, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Brian Gorman|