Garza Dominates Rangers As Rays Cruise 10-1

The Rays and Rangers square off again on Tuesday as Tommy Hunter looks for his 10th win of the year against Matt Garza.

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Official Recap: Rays 10, Rangers 1

Final Score: Tampa Bay 10, Texas 1

St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) – Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria each had three hits and drove in three to back a strong start by Matt Garza, as the Rays routed the Rangers, 10-1, in the middle contest of a three-game set.

Crawford finished a double shy of the cycle, slamming a two-run homer, while Longoria had a double and triple. The Rays totaled 15 hits, seven for extra bases.

It was plenty of support for Garza (12-7), who struck out a season-high 10 over seven shutout innings. The right-hander allowed five hits and walked two for the Rays, who have won four in a row and remained tied with the Yankees atop the AL East. New York beat Detroit on Tuesday.

Tommy Hunter (9-2) gave up four runs in three-plus innings and took the loss for the AL West-leading Rangers, who have lost six of nine.

Hunter threw only 52 of his 83 pitches for strikes, and the Rays took advantage of his location struggles and deep counts in the first inning. With one away, Hunter walked Ben Zobrist on four pitches, missing both high and low. A passed ball allowed Zobrist to move to second before Hunter and Crawford engaged in a nine-pitch at-bat that ended with Crawford ripping an outside curve to right field. Vladimir Guerrero couldn’t make the catch near the wall, allowing Zobrist to score and Crawford to reach third.

Longoria followed by crushing a first-pitch fastball to the left-center field gap, and he raced around to third as the Rays took a 2-0 lead. Carlos Pena came up next and, on the eighth pitch of that at-bat, pulled an inside cutter down the right field line for a double.

The score remained 3-0 until the bottom of the fourth, when the Rays capitalized on a few odd plays to add two more runs. With Jason Bartlett on first after a leadoff single and Matt Harrison on the mound, John Jaso attempted a bunt, but had the ball pop into the air on the right side. Bartlett paused on the basepath to make sure the ball would fall, but collided with Rangers second baseman Andres Blanco once he resumed running.

Both runners were safe, and Harrison nearly got out of the inning after retiring the next two batters. But when Longoria hit a ball to shallow center, Julio Borbon had the ball carom off his glove as he attempted a diving catch. Bartlett and Jaso scored to make it a 5-0 game.

Garza continued to shut down Texas, finishing his outing by working a 1-2-3 seventh, and Tampa Bay blew the game wide open in the bottom half. With Pedro Strop pitching, B.J. Upton doubled with one out and scored on Bartlett’s single. Later in the inning, Zobrist hit a two-run single and Crawford followed with a two-run homer down the right field line.

David Murphy’s RBI single in the eighth provided the Rangers’ lone run.

Game Notes

Crawford’s triple is the 100th of his career. He is Major League Baseball’s active leader in that category…Garza snapped a two-start losing streak. The win is the 12th of the season, a career high…Upton hit two doubles for the Rays…Hunter also gave up four runs in three innings in his last outing, Friday against Boston.

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Rangers' Rich Harden Has Rehab Postponed

Per Jeff Wilson, Rich Harden will have his rehab start postponed despite not having a physical ailment. The Rangers, Wilson says, will try to figure out a new schedule for Harden to pitch on.

The rationale behind the move is currently unknown, but the Rangers might want to look at putting Harden in the bullpen and attempt to have him rehab as reliever in short stints given they’ve got essentially a surplus of starters and Rich Harden has proven to be unreliable as a starter this year.

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Follow Tonight's Rangers/Rays Game Live

To follow tonight’s Rangers game against the Tampa Bay Rays, head over to Lone Star Ball and join the conversation.

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Rangers, Hunter Look To Bounce Back Against Rays

(Sports Network) - Matt Garza shoots for a career-high 12th win of the season this evening when the Tampa Bay Rays continue their three-game series with the Texas Rangers at Tropicana Field.

Tampa won for the fifth time in its last seven games with a thrilling victory on Monday, as Carlos Pena drove in the go-ahead run as part of a four-run eighth inning, lifting the Rays to a 6-4 win.

Willy Aybar drove in two runs while Ben Zobrist went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Rays, who have won three straight. David Price went six-plus innings and was charged with two runs on five hits with five walks and eight strikeouts. Lance Cormier (4-3) got the win for getting the final out in the eighth inning.

With the win and a loss by the Yankees to Detroit on Monday, Tampa Bay is now tied with New York for the top spot in the division with identical 72-46 records.

"It's an interesting win and a big win," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "When you beat the best pitcher in baseball in the eighth inning when he's up, that shows good things about your team. Hopefully we will gain some momentum from this."

Bengie Molina went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored and Elvis Andrus added two hits and an RBI for the Rangers, who have dropped five of their last eight. Cliff Lee (10-6) was tagged with the loss as he gave up six runs on nine hits with a walk and 10 strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings.

"We just didn't support Lee tonight," said Texas manager Ron Washington. "There were too many outs that were supposed to be outs that didn't happen. That's the game right there."

Despite the loss in the opener of a three-game set, the Rangers still hold a healthy eight-game lead over the Angels for first in the AL West.

Now Garza takes the hill for the Rays this evening trying to snap a personal two-start losing streak. Garza, who is winless in his three starts since throwing his no-hitter, absorbed the loss in Detroit on Wednesday, allowing three runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings to fall to 11-7 on the year to go along with a 3.92 ERA.

Garza beat the Rangers back on June 6 and is 4-3 lifetime against them with a 4.53 ERA in eight games.

Texas, meanwhile, will counter with righty Tommy Hunter, who is 9-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Hunter did not get a decision on Friday in Boston, but lasted just three innings, surrendering four runs and six hits in his team's 10-9 win.

Hunter's first win of the season came against the Rays back on June 5 and he is a perfect 2-0 in three starts against them with a 2.33 ERA.

Texas took two of three from the Rays earlier in the year.

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