for this game

Longoria, Garza lead Rays past Blue Jays

Jul 20, 2008 - 2:51 AM ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- Evan Longoria hit his first career grand slam, capping a 10-pitch at-bat against Roy Halladay, and Matt Garza threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings as the Rays defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-4, on Saturday.

Cliff Floyd added a solo homer for the Rays, who improved to 34-7 in their last 41 home games. Overall, Tampa Bay is 38-14 at home this season, exceeding last year's wins total (37-44).

The Rays (57-39) also opened a 1 1/2-game lead over the Boston Red Sox (57-42) in the American League East Division.

Garza (8-5), who was coming off his worst start of the season at Cleveland on July 12, limited the Blue Jays to only two hits. He struck out six and walked none a week after allowing seven runs and a career-high 11 hits against the Indians.

"I was just trying to match Halladay out for out," Garza said. "He's having a Cy Young year, but our offense came up clutch."

"Matt Garza was spectacular again and put us in position," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "We'll take them any way you can when you face a pitcher like (Halladay)."

Garza and Halladay were locked in a scoreless duel until the Rays broke through in the sixth.

Tampa Bay started the inning with four consecutive singles, including two that traveled less than 45 feet. The last was an RBI base hit by Carlos Pena that opened a 1-0 lead.

"We loaded the bases and didn't hit it too hard, but it was done effectively," Pena said.

After Halladay struck out Eric Hinske, he quickly got two strikes on fellow All-Star Longoria, but the rookie fouled off four offerings. Two of the fouls hit Longoria's ankle, but on the 10th pitch of the at-bat, he blasted his 17th home run to left field.

"It was definitely one of my more prouder at-bats," Longoria said. "(The fouls) were all I could do until he threw one over the plate. To have my first grand slam off a pitcher of his caliber is a good feeling."

Halladay (11-7) was 5-0 in his previous eight road starts and had not lost away from home since May 9 at Cleveland. In this one, he allowed a season high-tying five runs and eight hits, walked three and struck out six.

"It comes to one pitch (to Longoria), it really changes the game," Halladay said. "It's tough when you make a mistake like that. That inning cost me four runs, and that's the hardest part of the game - when you feel like you made good pitches and you end up having an inning like that."

Floyd's solo home run off reliever Brandon League in the eighth accounted for Tampa Bay's final run.

The Rays needed three relievers to finish the ninth as the Blue Jays scored four times and brought the tying run at the plate.

"Toronto was kind of charged up. They're a veteran group and made a charge," Maddon said.

Marco Scutaro delivered a two-run single off Al Reyes and Rod Barajas added an RBI groundout before Lyle Overbay hit a run-scoring double off Dan Wheeler, who got Scott Rolen on a pop-up to the catcher to secure his fourth save.

"It was frustrating to some point because Roy pitched a good ballgame," Toronto manager Cito Gaston said. "It was a good game from both sides. It was really close."

The win was Tampa Bay's second straight following a seven-game losing streak.

With the exception of Hinske, every Rays starter collected at least one hit.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4 6 0
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 1 x 6 10 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TOR - ROY HALLADAY, JESSE CARLSON (7TH), BRANDON LEAGUE (8TH), BRIAN
    TALLET (8TH) AND ROD BARAJAS
    TAM - MATT GARZA, J.P. HOWELL (8TH), TREVER MILLER
    (9TH), AL REYE

    Jul 19 9:08 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY LYLE OVERBAY SCORED MATT STAIRS.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, L OVERBAY ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 4
    TAMPA BAY 6 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: S ROLEN (.264, 1-FOR-3)

    Blue Jays 4, Rays 6  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 19 9:06 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY ROD BARAJAS SCORED MARCO SCUTARO.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, M STAIRS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3
    TAMPA BAY 6 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: L OVERBAY (.270, 0-FOR-3)

    Blue Jays 3, Rays 6  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 19 9:04 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARCO SCUTARO SCORED ADAM LIND AND JOE INGLETT.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M SCUTARO ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 2
    TAMPA BAY 6 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A RIOS (.282, 0-FOR-3)

    Blue Jays 2, Rays 6  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 19 8:57 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CLIFF FLOYD (7) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF BRANDON LEAGUE.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0, TAMPA BAY 6
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: B UPTON (.274, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Blue Jays 0, Rays 6  Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 19 8:35 PM
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    Blue Jays 0, Rays 5  Top 7, 0 OutsJul 19 8:02 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 22 roots

    Blue Jays 0, Rays 5  Top 7, 0 OutsJul 19 8:00 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    GRAND SLAM BY EVAN LONGORIA (17) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    6TH OFF ROY HALLADAY SCORED AKINORI IWAMURA, CARL CRAWFORD AND CARLOS
    PENA.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0, TAMPA BAY 5
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C FLOYD (.254, 0-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays 0, Rays 5  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 19 7:54 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS PENA SCORED BEN ZOBRIST.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C PENA ON FIRST, C CRAWFORD ON SECOND, A
    IWAMURA ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0
    TAMPA BAY 1 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: E HINSKE (.263, 0-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays 0, Rays 1  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 19 7:47 PM
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    Blue Jays 0, Rays 0  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 19 7:24 PM
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    Blue Jays vs. RaysJul 19 11:17 AM