Rays
Red Sox
9 - 1 Final
  for this game

Upton, Garza lead as Rays power past Red Sox

Oct 14, 2008 - 2:27 AM By Tom Covill PA SportsTicker Assistant Baseball Editor

BOSTON (Ticker) -- The Tampa Bay Rays brought their bats to the party, and not even Jon Lester could spoil their good time.

B.J. Upton hit a three-run homer and Matt Garza tossed six-plus strong innings to lead the Rays to a 9-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox in Game Three of the American League Championship Series on Monday.

Evan Longoria added a solo homer and Rocco Baldelli chipped in a three-run blast for Tampa Bay, which took a two-games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven series.

Two days after crushing postseason stalwart Josh Beckett in Game Two, Tampa Bay took aim Monday at the lefthander Lester, who had spent the early part of the 2008 postseason attempting to ascend to Beckett's mantel.

Lester cruised through the first on four pitches and allowed an unearned run in the second before coming unglued in the third. Jason Bartlett, the No. 9 hitter, led off with a single and Akinori Iwamura doubled him over to third before Upton strode to the plate.

The wiry No. 2 hitter drove a 2-1 offering from Lester (0-1) deep into the Boston twilight, rocketing the ball over the "Green Monster" seats in left field and onto the top of a parking garage across the street.

"We wanted to be aggressive with (Lester) but selective at the same time," Upton said. "He throws a lot of balls that are in and out of the zone so fast and we didn't bite on them today. We stayed patient with him and waited on our pitches."

It was the second homer of the series and fifth of the postseason for Upton, who managed only nine blasts in the regular season.

Upton's homer made it 4-0 in favor of the Rays, but they were not done with Lester in the third. After Carlos Pena struck out swinging, Longoria worked a 2-2 count and sent a blast deep into the left field seats for a 5-0 edge.

"They feel like they belong here and that's a big reason why they've been able to perform with calm - and permit everybody to see how good they are," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Upton and Longoria. "There are some athletes that just don't arrive at the mental point as quick, but they have. It doesn't surprise me."

It was the fourth postseason homer for Longoria, tying the rookie record set by Miguel Cabrera in 2003.

"At times, I was effective with everything," Lester said. "But I didn't execute, for the most part, two pitches and they hurt me. With this team, you can't have big innings like that, where they get action after action and put up a crooked number. You can't come back from that."

The homers accounted for the first earned runs off Lester in 16 innings this postseason and snapped a string of 24 1/3 innings in the playoffs without an earned run allowed, dating to the 2007 ALCS against the Cleveland Indians.

"We heard he was going to be tough," Carl Crawford said of Lester. "We knew that. We knew he hadn't given up any runs in the playoffs so we knew he was going to be tough. We just wanted to be ready."

"It certainly wasn't his sharpest outing," Boston manager Terry Francona said of Lester. "Again, you put up four in an inning. Other than that, he was actually OK."

As bad as Lester was, Garza was as good, challenging Boston's hitters with a hard fastball and sharp curve. The righthander was spotless through six innings before walking Jason Varitek and allowing a single to Alex Cora in the seventh.

"Garza is the main reason why we won that game," Maddon said. "I really believe that. The starting pitching sets the tone. Him doing what he did tonight permitted us to get in the flow of the game, get some runs and then maintain."

"My job was to get as many outs as possible and I came up with a game plan and it was what I did," Garza said. "Stay hard and make them hit my fastball. Make them beat my best pitch."

Lefthander J.P. Howell allowed an inherited runner to score on Jacoby Ellsbury's sacrifice fly, rounding out Garza's line at one run and six hits allowed. Garza walked three and struck out five, breaking Boston's spirit by stranding at least one runner in each frame.

"I told myself, 'Let them keep knocking on the door, keep knocking on that wall, but they ain't coming home,'" Garza said. "I told myself that's what I'm going to do. I had to make big pitches."

David Ortiz had another rough night for the Red Sox, running his string of postseason at-bats without a homer to 54 with an 0-for-4 night. He does not have a hit in the ALCS.

"You feel very fortunate when you get through a game and (Ortiz) has not impacted it for the Red Sox," Maddon said. "...He may look bad one night or not get it done one night, but you cannot take it for granted he's going to do it the next night. We're careful with him, now and forever."

Ortiz, Ellsbury and Kevin Youkilis combined to go 0-for-11.

Baldelli hit a three-run shot in the eighth and Carlos Pena added to Tampa Bay's total in the ninth with a solo homer off Paul Byrd.

"We've been here before," Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. "We've got to come out and play better baseball. There's no excuses, obviously. They came out and kicked our (rears) tonight, 9-1. They played great, we didn't. There was no, 'We should've done this.' No, none of that. This was just a straight up (rear) kicking."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 4 0 0 0 0 3 1 9 13 0
    BOSTON 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 7 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TAM - MATT GARZA, J.P. HOWELL (7TH), EDWIN JACKSON (9TH) AND DIONER
    NAVARRO
    BOS - JON LESTER, PAUL BYRD (6TH) AND JASON VARITEK

    HOME RUNS: TAM - B.J. UPTON (2) OF

    Oct 13 8:02 PM
  • millsythekiwi Tee hee...what must be more miserable is a Red Sox franchise losing to an expansion team from Florida!

    Rays 9, Red Sox 1  Top 9, 0 OutsOct 13 7:54 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CARLOS PENA (1) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF PAUL BYRD.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 9, BOSTON 1
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: E LONGORIA (.333, 1-FOR-3, BB, HR, RBI)

    Rays 9, Red Sox 1  Top 9, 0 OutsOct 13 7:53 PM
  • CubsnCards What could be more miserable for a Cubs franchise that hasn't won a championship in a 100 years? Watching another expansion Florida World Series win a World Series thats what.

    Rays 8, Red Sox 1  Top 8, 0 OutsOct 13 7:37 PM
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    roots
    CubsnCards Added 5 roots

    Rays 8, Red Sox 1  Top 8, 0 OutsOct 13 7:36 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY ROCCO BALDELLI (1) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 8TH OFF PAUL BYRD SCORED FERNANDO PEREZ AND DIONER NAVARRO.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 8, BOSTON 1
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: J BARTLETT (.182, 1-FOR-3)

    Rays 8, Red Sox 1  Top 8, 0 OutsOct 13 7:35 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JACOBY ELLSBURY SCORED JASON VARITEK.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A CORA ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 5
    BOSTON 1 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D PEDROIA (.600, 2-FOR-2, BB)

    Rays 5, Red Sox 1  Bot 7, 0 OutsOct 13 7:23 PM
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    DDrake Added 10 roots

    Rays 5, Red Sox 0  Bot 4, 0 OutsOct 13 6:06 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY EVAN LONGORIA (2) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 3RD OFF JON LESTER.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 5, BOSTON 0
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C CRAWFORD (.333, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays 5, Red Sox 0  Top 3, 0 OutsOct 13 5:30 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY B.J. UPTON (2) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF JON LESTER SCORED JASON BARTLETT AND AKINORI IWAMURA.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 4, BOSTON 0
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C PENA (.250, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays 4, Red Sox 0  Top 3, 0 OutsOct 13 5:25 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY DIONER NAVARRO SCORED EVAN LONGORIA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, W AYBAR ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1
    BOSTON 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: R BALDELLI (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Rays 1, Red Sox 0  Top 2, 0 OutsOct 13 5:03 PM
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    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Rays vs. Red SoxOct 13 9:44 AM
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    Rays vs. Red SoxOct 12 7:33 AM
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    Rays vs. Red SoxOct 11 6:26 PM
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    Rays vs. Red SoxOct 9 9:27 AM