Garza outduels Purcey, Rays top Blue JaysAug 28, 2008 - 3:33 AM ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Carlos Pena took advantage of the lone mistake by Toronto Blue Jays rookie lefthander David Purcey on Wednesday.
Pena homered and Matt Garza pitched 7 2/3 stellar innings as the Rays recorded a 1-0 triumph over the Blue Jays.
Pena's homer on the first pitch of the fourth inning was the only offense allowed by Purcey, who struck out a career-high 11.
The Rays halted a two-game losing streak and avoided their first three-game losing streak since dropping the final seven games prior to the All-Star break. The Rays (80-51) also maintained their 3 1/2-game lead over Boston Red Sox (77-55) atop the American League East.
"Great pitching on both sides," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "Garza was great, it was a classic type game. We have to be able to play with this type of intensity every night. You can tell our guys are really into it."
Garza (11-7) allowed six hits with five strikeouts and three walks - two in the eighth inning.
With runners on first and second, Grant Balfour struck out Adam Lind on three pitches for the final out of the eighth. Dan Wheeler pitched the ninth for his ninth save.
"It doesn't matter what team it is as long as we keep racking up wins," Garza said. "We don't quit. It's awesome. You've got guys who will give up their body to make a play.
"Tonight I was fortunate that one (run) was enough. What can I say? This team finds a way to win."
Purcey (2-5) allowed only five hits, including a bunt single and an infield hit.
"They gave me the ball tonight and I felt that I went out there and did my job," Purcey said. "I kept us in the game, that's all you can do."
Pena was the only Ray with two hits against Purcey, who pitched his first complete game. He had never gone past the sixth inning in eight previous starts.
"He was tough," Pena said. "He was hitting all the spots."
Garza improved to 3-1 in his last six starts. In all three of those wins, he has not allowed a run.
Joe Inglett had two of the six hits for the Blue Jays, who were shut out for the eighth time this season and second by Tampa Bay.
"Two great pitchers and both guys pitched a great ballgame tonight," Toronto manager Cito Gaston said. "Unfortunately they came up with the one run and we didn't get the run to tie it.
"I thought we had it in the last inning there. We didn't have many chances against him. Garza pitched great and Purcey did too."
On the final out of the game, Rod Barajas was robbed of extra bases by a spectacular catch against the left field wall by Justin Ruggiano, who had moved over from right field when the inning started.
"Maddon said don't ever lose your aggressiveness on the field," said Ruggiano, who let a fly ball drop in front of him in the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim last Wednesday. "I wasn't going to do it again. It was a little redemption for me."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
TORONTO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
TAMPA BAY 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 x 1 5 0 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: TOR - DAVID PURCEY AND ROD BARAJAS
TAM - MATT GARZA, GRANT BALFOUR (8TH), DAN WHEELER
(9TH) AND SHAWN RIGGANS
HOME RUNS: TOR - NONE
TAM - CARLOS PENA (27) OFF DAVI
Aug 27 9:40 PM
AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
SOLO HOME RUN BY CARLOS PENA (27) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
THE 4TH OFF DAVID PURCEY.
CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0, TAMPA BAY 1
DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: R BALDELLI (.286, 0-FOR-1)
Blue Jays 0, Rays 1 Bot 4, 0 OutsAug 27 8:13 PM
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